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Full text of "The poems of Algernon Charles Swinburne"

presented to 



of tbe 

\Hnivereits of Toronto 

bs 

Bertram 1R. Davta 

from tbe boohs of 

tbe late Xionel 2)avf 0, 1R.<L 



THE POEMS 
OF 

ALGERNON CHARLES SWINBURNE 

IN SIX VOLUMES 



VOLUME VI 

A MIDSUMMER HOLIDAY 

ASTROPHEL, AND OTHER POEMS 

A CHANNEL PASSAGE 

AND OTHER POEMS 





HARPER & BROTHERS PUBLISHERS 

NEW YORK AND LONDON 

MCMI V 






PR 




Copyright, 1904, by HARPER & BROTHERS. 

All rights reserved. 
Published December, 1904. 



CONTENTS 



A MIDSUMMER HOLIDAY AND OTHER POEMS 

PAGE 

A MIDSUMMER HOLIDAY: 

I. THE SEABOARD 5 

II. A HAVEN 7 

III. ON A COUNTRY ROAD 9 

IV. THE MILL GARDEN. n 

V. A SEA-MARK 14 

VI. THE CLIFFSIDE PATH 16 

VII. IN THE WATER 18 

VIII. THE SUNBOWS 21 

IX. ON THE VERGE 24 

A NEW- YEAR ODE 27 

LINES ON THE MONUMENT OF GIUSEPPE MAZZINI . 46 

LES CASQUETS 49 

A BALLAD OF SARK 57 

NINE YEARS OLD 59 

AFTER A READING 63 

MAYTIME IN MIDWINTER 66 

A DOUBLE BALLAD OF AUGUST 69 

HEARTSEASE COUNTRY 71 

A BALLAD OF APPEAL 73 

CRADLE SONGS 75 

PELAGIUS 80 

iii 



CONTENTS 

PAGE 

Louis BLANC 82 

Vos DECS LAUDAMUS 84 

ON THE BICENTENARY OF CORNEILLE 87 

IN SEPULCRETIS 89 

LOVE AND SCORN 92 

ON THE DEATH OF RICHARD DOYLE 94 

IN MEMORY OF HENRY A. BRIGHT 95 

A SOLITUDE 96 

VICTOR HUGO: L'ARCHIPEL DE LA MANCHE ... 97 

THE TWILIGHT OF THE LORDS 98 

CLEAR THE WAY! 102 

A WORD FOR THE COUNTRY 104 

A WORD FOR THE NATION no 

A WORD FROM THE PSALMIST 115 

A BALLAD AT PARTING 121 

ASTROPHEL AND OTHER POEMS 

ASTROPHEL 127 

A NYMPHOLEPT 133 

ON THE SOUTH COAST 149 

AN AUTUMN VISION 157 

A SWIMMER'S DREAM 168 

GRACE DARLING 173 

LOCH TORRIDON 180 

THE PALACE OF PAN 187 

A YEAR'S CAROLS 190 

ENGLAND: AN ODE 195 

ETON: AN ODE 200 

THE UNION 203 

EAST TO WEST 205 

INSCRIPTIONS FOR THE FOUR SIDES OF A PEDESTAL . 206 

ON THE DEATH OF RICHARD BURTON 208 

ELEGY 211 

iv 



CONTENTS 

PAGE 

A SEQUENCE OF SONNETS ON THE DEATH OF ROBERT 

BROWNING 218 

SUNSET AND MOONRISE 223 

BIRTHDAY ODE 225 

THRENODY 228 

THE BALLAD OF MELICERTES 231 

AU TOMBEAU DE BANVILLE 233 

LIGHT: AN EPICEDE 234 

THRENODY 237 

A DIRGE 239 

A REMINISCENCE 241 

VIA DOLOROSA 242 

I. TRANSFIGURATION 243 

II. DELIVERANCE 244 

III. THANKSGIVING 245 

IV. LIBITINA VERTICORDIA 246 

V. THE ORDER OF RELEASE 247 

VI. PSYCHAGOGOS 248 

VII. THE LAST WORD 249 

IN MEMORY OF AURELIO SAFFI 250 

FESTIVAL OF BEATRICE 254 

THE MONUMENT OF GIORDANO BRUNO 255 

LIFE IN DEATH 257 

EPICEDE 258 

MEMORIAL VERSES ON THE DEATH OF WILLIAM BELL 

SCOTT 261 

AN OLD SAYING 265 

A Moss-Ross 266 

To A CAT 267 

HAWTHORN DYKE 270 

THE BROTHERS 271 

JACOBITE SONG 275 

THE BALLAD OF DEAD MEN'S BAY 278 

DEDICATION 283 

v 



CONTENTS 
A CHANNEL PASSAGE AND OTHER POEMS 

PAGE 

A CHANNEL PASSAGE 291 

THE LAKE OF GAUBE 297 

THE PROMISE OF THE HAWTHORN 301 

HAWTHORN TIDE 302 

THE PASSING OF THE HAWTHORN 310 

To A BABY KINSWOMAN 311 

THE ALTAR OF RIGHTEOUSNESS 317 

A NEW YEAR'S EVE 336 

IN A ROSARY 339 

THE HIGH OAKS 341 

BARKING HALL: A YEAR AFTER 346 

Music: AN ODE 349 

THE CENTENARY OF THE BATTLE OF THE NILE . .351 

TRAFALGAR DAY 353 

CROMWELL'S STATUE 355 

A WORD FOR THE NAVY 357 

NORTHUMBERLAND 362 

STRATFORD-ON-AVON 365 

BURNS: AN ODE 366 

THE COMMONWEAL: A SONG FOR UNIONISTS . . . 371 

THE QUESTION 375 

APOSTASY 380 

RUSSIA: AN ODE 383 

FOR GREECE AND CRETE 387 

DELPHIC HYMN TO APOLLO 389 

A NEW CENTURY 39 1 

AN EVENING AT VICHY 392 

To GEORGE FREDERICK WATTS 39 6 

ON THE DEATH OF MRS. LYNN LINTON .... 397 

IN MEMORY OF AURELIO SAFFI 400 

CARNOT 4i 

AFTER THE VERDICT 4 02 

vi 



CONTENTS 

PACK 

THE TRANSVAAL 403 

REVERSE 404 

THE TURNING OP THE TIDE 4015 

ON THE DEATH OP COLONEL BENSON 406 

ASTR^A VICTRIX 407 

THE FIRST OF JUNE 411 

A ROUNDEL FROM VILLON 413 

A ROUNDEL OF RABELAIS 414 

LUCIFER 415 

THE CENTENARY OF ALEXANDRE DUMAS .... 416 

AT A DOG'S GRAVE 418 

THREE WEEKS OLD 420 

A CLASP OF HANDS 421 

PROLOGUE TO DOCTOR FAUSTUS 423 

PROLOGUE TO ARDEN OF FEVERSHAM 425 

PROLOGUE TO OLD FORTUNATUS 427 

PROLOGUE TO THE DUCHESS OF MALFY .... 429 

PROLOGUE TO THE REVENGER'S TRAGEDY .... 431 

PROLOGUE TO THE BROKEN HEART 433 

PROLOGUE TO A VERY WOMAN 435 

PROLOGUE TO THE SPANISH GIPSY 437 

PROLOGUE TO THE Two NOBLE KINSMEN . . . 439 

THE AFTERGLOW OF SHAKESPEARE 441 

DEDICATION 445 



A MIDSUMMER HOLIDAY 
AND OTHER POEMS 



A MIDSUMMER HOLIDAY 
TO 

THEODORE WATTS 



I 

THE SEABOARD 



THE sea is at ebb, and the sound of her utmost word 
Is soft as the least wave's lapse in a still small reach. 
From bay into bay, on quest of a goal deferred, 
From headland ever to headland and breach to 

breach 
Where earth gives ear to the message that all days 

preach 
With changes of gladness and sadness that cheer and 

chide, 

The lone way lures me along by a chance untried 
That haply, if hope dissolve not and faith be whole. 
Not all for nought shall I seek, with a dream for 

guide, 
The goal that is not, and ever again the goal. 

The trackless ways are untra veiled of sail or bird; 
The hoar wave hardly recedes from the soundless 

beach. 

The silence of instant noon goes nigh to be heard, 
The viewless void to be visible: all and each, 
A closure of calm no clamour of storm can breach 

5 



A MIDSUMMER HOLIDAY 

Concludes and confines and absorbs them on either 

side, 
All forces of light and of life and the live world's 

pride. 

Sands hardly ruffled of ripples that hardly roll 
Seem ever to show as in reach of a swift brief stride 
The goal that is not, and ever again the goal. 

The waves are a joy to the seamew, the meads to 

the herd, 

And a joy to the heart is a goal that it may not reach. 
No sense that for ever the limits of sense engird, 
No hearing or sight that is vassal to form or speech, 
Learns ever the secret that shadow and silence teach, 
Hears ever the notes that or ever they swell subside, 
Sees ever the light that lights not the loud world's 

tide, 

Clasps ever the cause of the lifelong scheme's con- 
trol 
Wherethrough we pursue, till the waters of life be 

dried. 
The goal that is not, and ever again the goal. 

Friend, what have we sought or seek we, whate'er 
betide, 

Though the seaboard shift its mark from afar de- 
scried, 

But aims whence ever anew shall arise the soul ? 

Love, thought, song, life, but show for a glimpse and 
hide 

The goal that is not, and ever again the goal. 



A MIDSUMMER HOLIDAY 






II 
A HAVEN 



EAST and north a waste of waters, south and west 
Lonelier lands than dreams in sleep would feign 

to be, 

When the soul goes forth on travel, and is prest 
Round and compassed in with clouds that flash and 

flee. 

Dells without a streamlet, downs without a tree, 
Cirques of hollow cliff that crumble, give their guest 
Little hope, till hard at hand he pause, to see 
Where the small town smiles, a warm still sea-side 

nest. 

Many a lone long mile, by many a headland's crest, 
Down by many a garden dear to bird and bee, 
Up by many a sea-down's bare and breezy breast, 
Winds the sandy strait of road where flowers run 

free. 

Here along the deep steep lanes by field and lea 
Knights have carolled, pilgrims chanted, on their 

quest, 

Haply, ere a roof rose toward the bleak strand's lee, 
Where the small town smiles, a warm still sea -side 

nest. 

7 



A MIDSUMMER HOLIDAY 

Are the wild lands cursed perchance of time, or blest, 
Sad with fear or glad with comfort of the sea ? 
Are the ruinous towers of churches fallen on rest 
Watched of wanderers woful now, glad once as we, 
When the night has all men's eyes and hearts in fee, 
When the soul bows down dethroned and dispossest ? 
Yet must peace keep guard, by day's and night's 

decree, 
Where the small town smiles, a warm still sea-side 

nest. 

Friend, the lonely land is bright for you and me 
All its wild ways through: but this methinks is best, 
Here to watch how kindly time and change agree 
Where the small town smiles, a warm still sea-side 
nest. 



A MIDSUMMER HOLIDAY 



III 
ON A COUNTRY ROAD 



ALONG these low pleached lanes, on such a day, 
So soft a day as this, through shade and sun, 
With glad grave eyes that scanned the glad wild 

way, 

And heart still hovering o'er a song begun, 
And smile that warmed the world with benison. 
Our father, lord long since of lordly rhyme, 
Long since hath haply ridden, when the lime 
Bloomed broad above him, flowering where he came. 
Because thy passage once made warm this clime, 
Our father Chaucer, here we praise thy name. 

Each year that England clothes herself with May, 
She takes thy likeness on her. Time hath spun 
Fresh raiment all in vain and strange array 
For earth and man's new spirit, fain to shun 
Things past for dreams of better to be won, 
Through many a century since thy funeral chime 
Rang, and men deemed it death's most direful crime 
To have spared not thee for very love or shame; 
And yet, while mists round last year's memories 

climb, 

Our father Chaucer, here we praise thy name. 

9 



A MIDSUMMER HOLIDAY 

Each turn of the old wild road whereon we stray, 
Meseems, might bring us face to face with one 
Whom seeing we could not but give thanks, and 

pray 

For England's love our father and her son 
To speak with us as once in days long done 
With all men, sage and churl and monk and mime, 
Who knew not as we know the soul sublime 
That sang for song's love more than lust of fame. 
Yet, though this be not, yet, in happy time, 
Our father Chaucer, here we praise thy name. 

Friend, even as bees about the flowering thyme, 
Years crowd on years, till hoar decay begrime 
Names once beloved; but, seeing the sun the same, 
As birds of autumn fain to praise the prime, 
Our father Chaucer, here we praise thy name. 



A MIDSUMMER HOLIDAY 

IV 
THE MILL GARDEN 



STATELY stand the sunflowers, glowing down the 

garden-side, 

Ranged in royal rank arow along the warm grey wall, 
Whence their deep disks burn at rich midnoon afire 

with pride, 
Even as though their beams indeed were sunbeams, 

and the tall 
Sceptral stems bore stars whose reign endures, not 

flowers that fall. 
Lowlier laughs and basks the kindlier flower of 

homelier fame, 

Held by love the sweeter that it blooms in Shake- 
speare's name, 
Fragrant yet as though his hand had touched and 

made it thrill, 
Like the whole world's heart, with warm new life 

and gladdening flame. 
Fair befall the fair green close that lies below the 

mill! 

Softlier here the flower-soft feet of refluent seasons 

glide, 
Lightlier breathes the long low note of change's 

gentler call. 

ii 



A MIDSUMMER HOLIDAY 

Wind and storm and landslip feed the lone sea's 

gulf outside, 
Half a seamew's first flight hence; but scarce may 

these appal 
Peace, whose perfect seal is set for signet here on 

all. 
Steep and deep and sterile, under fields no plough 

can tame, 
Dip the cliffs full-fledged with poppies red as love or 

shame, 
Wide wan daisies bleak and bold, or herbage harsh 

and chill; 
Here the full clove pinks and wallflowers crown the 

love they claim. 
Fair befall the fair green close that lies below the 

mill! 

All the place breathes low, but not for fear lest ill 

betide, 

Soft as roses answering roses, or a dove's recall. 
Little heeds it how the seaward banks may stoop and 

slide, 
How the winds and years may hold all outer things 

in thrall, 
How their wrath may work on hoar church tower 

and boundary wall. 

Far and wide the waste and ravin of their rule pro- 
claim 
Change alone the changeless lord of things, alone 

the same: 
Here a flower is stronger than the winds that work 

their will, 

12 



A MIUSUMMIiR HOLIDAY 

Or the years that wing their way through darkness 

vard their aim. 

Fair befall the fair green close that lies below the 
mill! 

Friend, the home that smiled us welcome hither 

when we came, 
When we pass again with summer, surely should 

reclaim 
Somewhat given of heart's thanksgiving more than 

words fulfil 
More than song, were song more sweet than all but 

love, might frame. 
Fair befall the fair green close that lies below the 

mill! 






A MIDSUMMER HOLIDAY 



V 
A SEA-MARK 



RAINS have left the sea-banks ill to climb: 
Waveward ^sinks the loosening seaboard's floor: 
Half the sliding cliffs are mire and slime. 
Earth, a fruit rain-rotted to the core, 
Drops dissolving down in flakes, that pour 
Dense as gouts from eaves grown foul with grime. 
One sole rock which years that scathe not score 
Stands a sea-mark in the tides of time. 

Time were even as even the rainiest clime, 
Life were even as even this lapsing shore, 
Might not aught outlive their trustless prime: 
Vainly fear would wail or hope implore, 
Vainly grief revile or love adore 
Seasons clothed in sunshine, rain, or rime. 
Now for me one comfort held in store 
Stands a sea-mark in the tides of time. 

Once, by fate's default or chance's crime, 
Each apart, our burdens each we bore; 
Heard, in monotones like bells that chime, 
Chime the sounds of sorrows, float and soar 

14 



A MIDSUMMER HOLIDAY 

Joy's full carols, near or far before; 
Heard not yet across the alternate rhyme 
Time's tongue tell what sign set fast of yore 
Stands a sea-mark in the tides of time. 

Friend, the sign we knew not heretofore 
Towers in sight here present and sublime. 
Faith in faith established evermore 
Stands a sea-mark in the tides of time. 



A MIDSUMMER HOLIDAY 



VI 
THE CLIFFSIDE PATH 



SEAWARD goes the sun, and homeward by the down 
We. before the night upon his. grave be sealed. 
Low behind us lies the bright steep murmuring 

town, 

High before us heaves the steep rough silent field. 
Breach by ghastlier breach, the cliffs collapsing 

yield : 

Half the path is broken, half the banks divide; 
Flawed and crumbled, riven and rent, they cleave 

and slide 
Toward the ridged and wrinkled waste of girdling 

sand 

Deep beneath, whose furrows tell how far and wide 
Wind is lord and change is sovereign of the strand. 

Star by star on the unsunned waters twiring down. 
Golden spear-points glance against a silver shield. 
Over banks and bents, across the headland's crown, 
As by pulse of gradual plumes through twilight 

wheeled, 

Soft as sleep, the waking wind awakes the weald. 

16 



A MIDSUMMER HOLIDAY 

Moor and copse and fallow, near or far descried, 
Feel the mild wings move, and gladden where they 

glide: 

Silence, uttering love that all things understand, 
Bids the quiet fields forget that hard beside 
Wind is lord and change is sovereign of the strand. 

Yet may sight, ere all the hoar soft shade grow 
brown, 

Hardly reckon half the rifts and rents unhealed 

Where the scarred cliffs downward sundering drive 
and drown, 

Hewn as if with stroke of swords in tempest steeled, 

Wielded as the night's will and the wind's may 
wield. 

Crowned and zoned in vain with flowers of autumn- 
tide, 

Soon the blasts shall break them, soon the waters 
hide; 

Soon, where late we stood, shall no man ever stand. 

Life and love seek harbourage on the landward side: 

Wind is lord and change is sovereign of the strand. 

Friend, though man be less than these, for all his 

pride, 

Yet, for all his weakness, shall not hope abide? 
Wind and change can wreck but life and waste but 

land: 

Truth and trust are sure, though here till all subside 
Wind is lord and change is sovereign of the strand. 



A MIDSUMMER HOLIDAY 



VII 
IN THE WATER 



THE sea is awake, and the sound of the song of the 

joy of her waking is rolled 
From afar to the star that recedes, from anear to the 

wastes of the wild wide shore. 
Her call is a trumpet compelling us homeward: if 

dawn in her east be acold, 
From the sea shall we crave not her grace to rekindle 

the life that is kindled before, 
Her breath to requicken, her bosom to rock us, her 

kisses to bless as of yore? 
For the wind, with his wings half open, at pause in 

the sky, neither fettered nor free, 
Leans waveward and flutters the ripple to laughter: 

and fain would the twain of us be 
Where lightly the wave yearns forward from under 

the curve of the deep dawn's dome, 
And, full of the morning and fired with the pride of 

the glory thereof and the glee, 
Strike out from the shore as the heart in us bids and 

beseeches, athirst for the foam. 
18 



A MIDSUMMER HOLIDAY 

Life holds not an hour that is better to live in: the 

past is a tale that is told, 
The future a sun-flecked shadow, alive and asleep, 

with a blessing in store. 
As we give us again to the waters, the rapture of 

limbs that the waters enfold 
Is less than the rapture of spirit whereby, though the 

burden it quits were sore, 
Our souls and the bodies they wield at their will are 

absorbed in the life they adore 
In the life that endures no burden, and bows not the 

forehead, and bends not the knee 
In the life everlasting of earth and of heaven, in the 

laws that atone and agree, 
In the measureless music of things, in the fervour of 

forces that rest or that roam, 
That cross and return and reissue, as I after you and 

as you after me 
Strike out from the shore as the heart in us bids and 

beseeches, athirst for the foam. 



For, albeit he were less than the least of them, haply 

the heart of a man may be bold 
To rejoice in the word of the sea as a mother's that 

saith to the son she bore, 
Child, was not the life in thee mine, and my spirit 

the breath in thy lips from of old ? 
Have I let not thy weakness exult in my strength, 

and thy foolishness learn of my lore ? 
Have I helped not or healed not thine anguish, or 

made not the might of thy gladness more ? 



A MIDSUMMER HOLIDAY 

And surely his heart should answer, The light of the 

love of my life is in thee. 
She is fairer than earth, and the sun is not fairer, 

the wind is not blither than she: 
From my youth hath she shown me the joy of her 

bays that I crossed, of her cliffs that I clomb, 
Till now that the twain of us here, in desire of the 

dawn and in trust of the sea, 
Strike out from the shore as the heart in us bids and 

beseeches, athirst for the foam. 

Friend, earth is a harbour of refuge for winter, d 

covert whereunder to flee 
When day is the vassal of night, and the strength of 

the hosts of her mightier than he; 
But here is the presence adored of me, here my desire 

is at rest and at home. 
There are cliffs to be climbed upon land, there are 

ways to be trodden and ridden : but we 
Strike out from the shore as the heart in us bids and 

beseeches, athirst for the foam. 



A MIDSUMMER HOLIDAY 



VIII 

THE SUNBOWS 



SPRAY of song that springs in April, light of love that 

laughs through May, 
Live and die and live for ever: nought of all things 

far less fair 
Keeps a surer life than these that seem to pass like 

fire away. 
In the souls they live which are but all the brighter 

that they were; 
In the hearts that kindle, thinking what delight of 

old was there. 
Wind that shapes and lifts and shifts them bids 

perpetual memory play 
Over dreams and in and out of deeds and thoughts 

which seem to wear 
Light that leaps and runs and revels through the 

springing flames of spray. 

Dawn is wild upon the waters where we drink of 

dawn to-day: 
Wide, from wave to wave rekindling in rebound 

through radiant air, 

21 



A MIDSUMMER HOLIDAY 

Flash the fires unwoven and woven again of wind 

that works in play. 
Working wonders more than heart may note or sight 

may wellnigh dare, 
Wefts of rarer light than colours rain from heaven, 

though this be rare. 
Arch on arch unbuilt in building, reared and ruined 

ray by ray, 
Breaks and brightens, laughs and lessens, even till 

eyes may hardly bear 
Light that leaps and runs and revels through the 

springing flames of spray. 

Year on year sheds light and music rolled and flashed 
from bay to bay 

Round the summer capes of time and winter head- 
lands keen and bare 

Whence the soul keeps watch, and bids her vassal 
memory watch and pray, 

If perchance the dawn may quicken, or perchance 
the midnight spare. 

Silence quells not music, darkness takes not sunlight 
in her snare; 

Shall not joys endure that perish ? Yea, saith dawn, 
though night say nay: 

Life on life goes out, but very life enkindles every- 
where 

Light that leaps and runs and revels through the 
springing flames of spray. 

Friend, were life no more than this is, well would yet 
the living fare. 

22 



A MIDSUMMER HOLIDAY 

All aflower and all afire and all flung heavenward, 

who shall say 
Such a flash of life were worthless? This is worth 

a world of care 
Light that leaps and runs and revels through the 

springing flames of spray. 






A MIDSUMMER HOLIDAY 



IX 
ON THE VERGE 



HERE begins the sea that ends not till the world's 

end. Where we stand, 
Could we know the next high sea-mark set beyond 

these waves that gleam, 
We should know what never man hath known, nor 

eye of man hath scanned. 
Nought beyond these coiling clouds that melt like 

fume of shrines that steam 
Breaks or stays the strength of waters till they pass 

our bounds of dream. 
Where the waste Land's End leans westward, all the 

seas it watches roll 

Find their border fixed beyond them, and a world- 
wide shore's control: 
These whereby we stand no shore beyond us limits: 

these are free. 
Gazing hence, we see the water that grows iron 

round the Pole, 
From the shore that hath no shore beyond it set in 

all the sea. 

24 



A MIDSUMMER HOLIDAY 

Sail on sail along the sea-line fades and flashes ; here 

on land 
Flash and fade the wheeling wings on wings of mews 

that plunge and scream. 
Hour on hour along the line of life and time's evasive 

strand 
Shines and darkens, wanes and waxes, slays and 

dies: and scarce they seem 
More than motes that thronged and trembled in the 

brief noon's breath and beam. 
Some with crying and wailing, some with notes like 

sound of bells that toll, 
Some with sighing and laughing, some with words 

that blessed and made us whole, 
Passed, and left us, and we know not what they 

were, nor what were we. 
Would we know, being mortal ? Never breath of 

answering whisper stole 
From the shore that hath no shore beyond it set in 

all the sea. 



Shadows, would we question darkness ? Ere our 

eyes and brows be fanned 
Round with airs of twilight, washed with dews from 

sleep's eternal stream, 
Would we know sleep's guarded secret ? Ere the fire 

consume the brand, 
Would it know if yet its ashes may requicken ? yet 

we deem 
Surely man may know, or ever night unyoke her 

starry team, 

2 5 



A MIDSUMMER HOLIDAY 

What the dawn shall be, or if the dawn shall be not: 

yea, the scroll 
Would we read of sleep's dark scripture, pledge of 

peace or doom of dole. 
Ah, but here man's heart leaps, yearning toward the 

gloom with venturous glee, 
Though his pilot eye behold nor bay nor harbour, 

rock nor shoal, 
From the shore that hath no shore beyond it set in 

all the sea. 

Friend, who knows if death indeed have life or life 

have death for goal ? 
Day nor night can tell us, nor may seas declare nor 

skies unroll 
What has been from everlasting, or if aught shall 

alway be. 
Silence answering only strikes response reverberate 

on the soul 
From the shore that hath no shore beyond it set in 

all the sea, 



A NEW-YEAR ODE 
To VICTOR HUGO 



TWICE twelve times have the springs of years refilled 

Their fountains from the river-head of time 
Since by the green sea's marge, ere autumn chilled 
Waters and woods with sense of changing clime, 
A great light rose upon my soul, and thrilled 

My spirit of sense with sense of spheres in chime, 
Sound as of song wherewith a God would build 
Towers that no force of conquering war might 

climb. 

Wind shook the glimmering sea 
Even as my soul in me 

Was stirred with breath of mastery more sublime, 
Uplift and borne along 
More thunderous tides of song, 
Where wave rang back to wave more rapturous 

rhyme 

And world on world flashed lordlier light 
Than ever lit the wandering ways of ships by night. 

ii 

The spirit of God, whose breath of life is song, 
Moved, though his word was human, on the face 

Of those deep waters of the soul, too long 

Dumb, dark, and cold, that waited for the grace 
29 



A NEW- YEAR ODE 

Wherewith day kindles heaven: and as some throng 

Of quiring wings fills full some lone chill place 
With sudden rush of life and joy, more strong 
Than death or sorrow or all night's darkling race, 
So was my heart, that heard 
All heaven in each deep word, 
Filled full with light of thought, and waxed apace 
Itself more wide and deep, 
To take that gift and keep 
And cherish while my days fulfilled their space 

A record wide as earth and sea, 
The Legend writ of Ages past and yet to be. 



in 

As high the chant of Paradise and Hell 

Rose, when the soul of Milton gave it wings; 
As wide the sweep of Shakespeare's empire fell, 

When life had bared for him her secret springs; 
But not his various soul might range and dwell 

Amid the mysteries of the founts of things; 
Nor Milton's range of rule so far might swell 
Across the kingdoms of forgotten kings. 
Men, centuries, nations, time, 
Life, death, love, trust, and crime, 
Rang record through the change of smitten strings 
That felt an exile's hand 
Sound hope for every land 
More loud than storm's cloud-sundering trumpet 

rings, 

And bid strong death for judgment rise, 
And life bow down for judgment of his awless eyes. 

30 



A NEW- YEAR ODE 

IV 

And death, soul-stricken in his strength, resigned 

The keeping of the sepulchres to song; 
And life was humbled, and his height of mind 

Brought lower than lies a grave-stone fallen along ; 
And like a ghost and like a God mankind 

Rose clad with light and darkness; weak and 

strong, 
Clean and unclean, with eyes afire and blind, 

Wounded and whole, fast bound with cord and 

thong, 

Free; fair and foul, sin-stained, 
And sinless; crowned and chained; 
Fleet-limbed, and halting all his lifetime long; 
Glad of deep shame, and sad 
For shame's sake; wise, and mad; 
Girt round with love and hate of right and wrong ; 

Armed and disarmed for sleep and strife; 
Proud, and sore fear made havoc of his pride of life. 



Shadows and shapes of fable and storied sooth 

Rose glorious as with gleam of gold unpriced; 
Eve, clothed with heavenly nakedness and youth 

That matched the morning's; Cain, self -sacrificed 
On crime's first altar: legends wise as truth, 

And truth in legends deep embalmed and spiced; 
The stars that saw the starlike eyes of Ruth, 

The grave that heard the clarion call of Christ. 



A NEW-YEAR ODE 

And higher than sorrow and mirth 
The heavenly song of earth 

Sprang, in such notes as might have well sufficed 
To still the storms of time 
And sin's contentious clime 
With peace renewed of life reparadised: 

Earth, scarred not yet with temporal scars; 
Goddess of gods, our mother, chosen among the 
stars. 

VI 

Earth fair as heaven, ere change and time set odds 
Between them, light and darkness know not when, 
And fear, grown strong through panic periods, 

Crouched, a crowned worm, in faith's Lernean fen, 
And love lay bound, and hope was scourged with rods, 

And death cried out from desert and from den, 
Seeing all the heaven above him dark with gods 
And all the world about him marred of men. 
Cities that nought might purge 
Save the sea's whelming surge 
From all the pent pollutions in their pen 

Deep death drank down, and wrought, 
With wreck of all things, nought, 
That none might live of all their names again, 

Nor aught of all whose life is breath 
Serve any God whose likeness was not like to death. 

VII 

Till by the lips and eyes of one live nation 

The blind mute world found grace to see and 
speak, 

32 



A NEW-YEAR ODE 

And light watched rise a more divine creation 

At that more godlike utterance of the Greek, 
Let there be freedom. Kings whose orient sta- 
tion 

Made pale the morn, and all her presage bleak, 
Girt each with strengths of all his generation, 
Dim tribes of shamefaced soul and sun-swart 

cheek, 

Twice, urged with one desire, 
Son following hard on sire, 
With all the wrath of all a world to wreak, 
And all the rage of night 
Afire against the light 
Whose weakness makes her strong-winged empire 

weak, 

Stood up to unsay that saying, and fell 
Too far for song, though song were thousand- 
tongued, to tell. 

VIII 

From those deep echoes of the loud ^Egean 

That rolled response whereat false fear was chid 
By songs of joy sublime and Sophoclean, 

Fresh notes reverberate westward rose to bid 
All wearier times take comfort from the paean 

That tells the night what deeds the sunrise did, 
Even till the lawns and torrents Pyrenean 
Ring answer from the records of the Cid. 
But never force of fountains 
From sunniest hearts of mountains 
Wherein the soul of hidden June was hid 
VI -3 33 



A NEW- YEAR ODE 

Poured forth so pure and strong 
Springs of reiterate song, 
Loud as the streams his fame was reared amid, 

More sweet than flowers they feed, and fair 
With grace of lordlier sunshine and more lambent 
air. 

IX 

A star more prosperous than the storm-clothed east's 
Clothed all the warm south-west with light like 

spring's, 
When hands of strong men spread the wolves their 

feasts 

And from snake-spirited princes plucked the stings ; 
Ere earth, grown all one den of hurtling beasts, 

Had for her sunshine and her watersprings 
The fire of hell that warmed the hearts of priests, 
The wells of blood that slaked the lips of kings. 
The shadow of night made stone 
Stood populous and alone, 

Dense with its dead and loathed of living things 
That draw not life from death, 
And as with hell's own breath 
And clangour of immitigable wings 

Vexed the fair face of Paris, made 
Foul in its murderous imminence of sound and shade. 



And all these things were parcels of the vision 
That moved a cloud before his eyes, or stood 

A tower half shattered by the strong collision 
Of spirit and spirit, of evil gods with good; 
34 



A NEW- YEAR ODE 

A ruinous wall rent through with, grim division, 

Where time had marked his every monstrous mood 
Of scorn and strength and pride and self-derision : 
The Tower of Things, that felt upon it brood 
Night, and about it cast 
The storm of all the past 
Now mute and forceless as a fire subdued: 
Yet through the rifted years 
And centuries veiled with tears 
And ages as with very death imbrued 

Freedom, whence hope and faith grow strong, 
Smiles; and firm love sustains the indissoluble song. 



xi 

Above the cloudy coil of days deceased, 

Its might of flight, with mists and storms beset, 
Burns heavenward, as with heart and hope increased, 

For all the change of tempests, all the fret 
Of frost or fire, keen fraud or force released, 

Wherewith the world once wasted knows not yet 
If evil or good lit all the darkling east 

From the ardent moon of sovereign Mahomet. 
Sublime in work and will 
The song sublimer still 

Salutes him, ere the splendour shrink and set; 
Then with imperious eye 
And wing that sounds the sky 
Soars and sees risen as ghosts in concourse met 
The old world's seven elder wonders, firm 
As dust and fixed as shadows, weaker than the worm. 

35 



A NEW- YEAR ODE 

XII 

High witness borne of knights high-souled and hoary 

Before death's face and empire's rings and glows 

Even from the dust their life poured forth left gory, 

As the eagle's cry rings after from the snows 
Supreme rebuke of shame clothed round with glory 
And hosts whose track the false crowned eagle 

shows ; 
More loud than sounds through stormiest song and 

story 
The laugh of slayers whose names the sea-wind 

knows ; 

More loud than peals on land 
In many a red wet hand 
The clash of gold and cymbals as they close; 
Loud as the blast that meets 
The might of marshalled fleets 
And sheds it into shipwreck, like a rose 

Blown from a child's light grasp in sign 
That earth's high lords are lords not over breeze and 
brine. 

XIII 

Above the dust and mire of man's dejection 

The wide-winged spirit of song resurgent sees 
His wingless and long-labouring resurrection 

Up the arduous heaven, by sore and strange de- 
grees, 

Mount, and with splendour of the soul's reflection 
Strike heaven's dark sovereign down upon his 
knees, 

36 



A NEW- YEAR ODE 

Pale in the light of orient insurrection, 

And dumb before the almightier lord's decrees 
Who bade him be of yore, 
Who bids him be no more: 
And all earth's heart is quickened as the sea's, 
Even as when sunrise burns 
The very sea's heart yearns 
That heard not on the midnight-walking breeze 

The wail that woke with evensong 
From hearts of poor folk watching all the darkness 
long. 

XIV 

Dawn and the beams of sunbright song illume 

Love, with strange children at her piteous breast, 
By grace of weakness from the grave - mouthed 

gloom 

Plucked, and by mercy lulled to living rest, 
Soft as the nursling's nigh the grandsire's tomb 

That fell on sleep, a bird of rifled nest; 
Soft as the lips whose smile unsaid the doom 
That gave their sire to violent death's arrest. 
Even for such love's sake strong, 
Wrath fires the inveterate song 
That bids hell gape for one whose bland mouth 

blest 

All slayers and liars that sighed 
Prayer as they slew and lied 
Till blood had clothed his priesthood as a vest, 

And hears, though darkness yet be dumb, 
The silence of the trumpet of the wrath to come. 

37 



A NEW-YEAR ODE 



XV 

Nor lacked these lights of constellated age 

A star among them fed with life more dire, 
Lit with his blood-red fame, whose withering rage 

Made earth for heaven's sake one funereal pyre 
And life in faith's name one appointed stage 

For death to purge the souls of men with fire. 
Heaven, earth, and hell on one thrice tragic page 
Mixed all their light and darkness: one man's lyre 
Gave all their echoes voice; 
Bade rose-cheeked love rejoice, 
And cold-lipped craft with ravenous fear conspire, 
And fire-eyed faith smite hope 
Dead, seeing enthroned as Pope 
And crowned of heaven on earth at hell's desire 

Sin, called by death's incestuous name 
Borgia: the world that heard it flushed and quailed 
with shame. 

XVI 

Another year, and hope triumphant heard 

The consummating sound of song that spake 
Conclusion to the multitudinous word 

Whose expectation held her spirit awake 
Till full delight for twice twelve years deferred 

Bade all souls entering eat and drink, and take 
A third time comfort given them, that the third 

Might heap the measure up of twain, and make 
The sinking year sublime 
Among all sons of time 

And fair in all men's memories for his sake. 

38 



A NEW- YEAR ODE 

Each thought of ours became 
Fire, kindling from his flame, 
And music widening in his wide song's wake. 

Yea, and the world bore witness here 
How great a light was risen upon this darkening year. 

XVII 

It was the dawn of winter: sword in sheath, 

Change, veiled and mild, came down the gradual 

air 
With cold slow smiles that hid the doom beneath. 

Five days to die in yet were autumn's, ere 
The last leaf withered from his flowerless wreath. 
South, east, and north, our skies were all blown 

bare, 

But westward over glimmering holt and heath 
Cloud, wind, and light had made a heaven more 

fair 

Than ever dream of truth 
Showed earth in time's keen youth 
When men with angels communed unaware. 
Above the sun's head, now 
Veiled even to the ardent brow, 
Rose two sheer wings of sundering cloud, that were 

As a bird's poised for vehement flight, 
Full-fledged with plumes of tawny fire and hoar 
grey light. 

XVIII 

As midnight black, as twilight brown, they spread, 
But feathered thick with flame that streaked and 
lined 

39 



A NEW-YEAR ODE 

Their living darkness, ominous else of dread, 

From south to northmost verge of heaven in- 
clined 
Most like some giant angel's, whose bent head 

Bowed earthward, as with message for mankind 
Of doom or benediction to be shed 

From passage of his presence. Far behind, 
Even while they seemed to close, 
Stoop, and take flight, arose 
Above them, higher than heavenliest thought may 

find 

In light or night supreme 
Of vision or of dream, 
Immeasurable of men's eyes or mounting mind, 

Heaven, manifest in manifold 
Light of pure pallid amber, cheered with fire of gold. 



XIX 

And where the fine gold faded all the sky 

Shone green as the outer sea when April glows, 
Inlaid with flakes and feathers fledged to fly 
Of clouds suspense in rapture and repose, 
With large live petals, broad as love bids lie 

Full open when the sun salutes the rose, 
And small rent sprays wherewith the heavens most 

high 

Were strewn as autumn strews the garden-close 
With ruinous roseleaves whirled 
About their wan chill world, 
Through wind-worn bowers that now no music 
knows, 

40 



A NEW-YEAR ODE 

Spoil of the dim dusk year 
Whose utter night is near, 
And near the flower of dawn beyond it blows; 

Till east and west were fire and light, 
As though the dawn to come had flushed the coming 
night. 

xx 

The highways paced of men that toil or play, 
The byways known of none but lonely feet, 
Were paven of purple woven of night and day 
With hands that met as hands of friends might 

meet 
As though night's were not lifted up to slay 

And day's had waxed not weaker. Peace more 

sweet 

Than music, light more soft than shadow, lay 
On downs and moorlands wan with day's defeat, 
That watched far above 
Life's very rose of love 

Let all its lustrous leaves fall, fade, and fleet, 
And fill all heaven and earth 
Full as with fires of birth 
Whence time should feed his years with light and 

heat : 

Nay, not life's, but a flower more strong 
Than life or time or death, love's very rose of song. 



XXI 

Song visible, whence all men's eyes were lit 

With love and loving wonder: song that glowed 



A NEW-YEAR ODE 

Through cloud and change on souls that knew 

not it 
And hearts that wist not whence their comfort 

flowed, 
Whence fear was lightened of her fever-fit, 

Whence anguish of her life-compelling load. 
Yea, no man's head whereon the fire alit, 
Of all that passed along that sunset road 
Westward, no brow so drear, 
No eye so dull of cheer, 
No face so mean whereon that light abode, 
But as with alien pride 
Strange godhead glorified 
Each feature flushed from heaven with fire that 

showed 

The likeness of its own life wrought 
By strong transfiguration as of living thought. 



XXII 

Nor only clouds of the everlasting sky, 

Nor only men that paced that sunward way 
To the utter bourne of evening, passed not by 

Unblest or unillumined: none might say, 
Of all things visible in the wide world's eye, 
That all too low for all that grace it lay : 
The lowliest lakelets of the moorland nigh, 

The narrowest pools where shallowest wavelets 

play, 

Were filled from heaven above 
With light like fire of love, 
With flames and colours like a dawn in May, 
42 



A NEW- YEAR ODE 

As hearts that lowlier live 
With light of thoughts that give 
Light from the depth of souls more deep than they 

Through song's or story's kindling scroll, 
The splendour of the shadow that reveals the soul. 



XXIII 

For, when such light is in the world, we share, 

All of us, all the rays thereof that shine: 
Its presence is alive in the unseen air, 

Its fire within our veins as quickening wine; 
A spirit is shed on all men everywhere, 

Known or not known of all men for divine. 
Yea, as the sun makes heaven, that light makes fair 
All souls of ours, all lesser souls than thine, 
Priest, prophet, seer and sage, 
Lord of a subject age 
That bears thy seal upon it for a sign; 
Whose name shall be thy name, 
Whose light thy light of fame, 
The light of love that makes thy soul a shrine 

Whose record through all years to be 
Shall bear this witness written that its womb bare 
thee. 

XXIV 

O mystery, whence to one man's hand was given 
Power upon all things of the spirit, and might 

Whereby the veil of all the years was riven 
And naked stood the secret soul of night! 
43 



A NEW-YEAR ODE 

O marvel, hailed of eyes whence cloud is driven, 
That shows at last wrong reconciled with right 
By death divine of evil and sin forgiven! 
O light of song, whose fire is perfect light! 
No speech, no voice, no thought, 
No love, avails us aught 
For service of thanksgiving in his sight 
Who hath given us all for ever 
Such gifts that man gave never 
So many and great since first Time's wings took 

flight. 

Man may not praise a spirit above 
Man's: life and death shall praise him: we can only 
love. 

xxv 

Life, everlasting while the worlds endure, 

Death, self -abased before a power more high, 
Shall bear one witness, and their word stand sure, 

That not till time be dead shall this man die. 
Love, like a bird, comes loyal to his lure; 

Fame flies before him, wingless else to fly. 
A child's heart toward his kind is not more pure, 
An eagle's toward the sun no lordlier eye. 
Awe sweet as love and proud 
As fame, though hushed and bowed, 
Yearns toward him silent as his face goes by: 
All crowns before his crown 
Triumphantly bow down, 
For pride that one more great than all draws nigh 

All souls applaud, all hearts acclaim, 
One heart benign, one soul supreme, one conquering 
name. 

44 



A NEW- YEAR ODE 



NOTES 

ST. V. 

V. 3. La Legende des Siecles: Le Sacre de la Femme. 

4. La Conscience. 

7. Booz endormi. 

8. Premiere rencontre du Christ avec le tombeau. 

9. La Terre: Hymne. 
VI. 3. Les Temps Paniques. 

9. La Ville Disparue. 

VII. Les Trois Cents. 

VI II. i . Le Detroit de 1' Euripe : La Chanson de Sophocle 

a Salamine. 

7. Le Romancero du Cid. 

IX. 3. Le Petit Roi de Galice. 

5. Le Jour des Rois. 
9. Montfaucon. 

X. La vision d'ou est sorti ce livre. 

XI. 9. L'an neuf de 1'Hegire. 

12. Les sept merveilles du monde. 

XII. i. Les quatre jours d'Elciis. 

4. Le Regiment du baron Madruce. 

7. La Chanson des Aventuriers de la Mer. 

9. Les Reitres. 

12. La Rose de 1' Infante. 

XIII. i. Le Satyre. 

12. Les paysans au bord de la mer. 

XIV. i. Les pauvres gens. 

5. Petit Paul. 

7. Guerre Civile. 

9. La Vision de Dante. 

15. La Trompette du Jugement. 

XV. Torquemada (1882). 

XVI. La Legende des Siecles: tome cinquieme et 

dernier (1883). 

XVII. November 25, 1883. 

45 



LINES ON THE MONUMENT OF 
GIUSEPPE MAZZINI 



ITALIA, mother of the souls of men, 

Mother divine, 
Of all that served thee best with sword or pen 

All sons of thine, 

< 

Thou knowest that here the likeness of the best 

Before thee stands; 
The head most high, the heart found faithfullest, 

The purest hands. 

Above the fume and foam of time that flits, 

The soul, we know, 
Now sits on high where Alighieri sits 

With Angelo. 

Not his own heavenly tongue hath heavenly speech 

Enough to say 

What this man was, whose praise no thought may 
reach, 

No words can weigh. 

Since man's first mother brought to mortal birth 

Her first-born son, 
Such grace befelPnot ever man on earth 

As crowns this one. 
46 



GIUSEPPE MAZZINI 

Of God nor man was ever this thing said, 

That he could give 
Life back to her who gave him, whence his dead 

Mother might live. 

But this man found his mother dead and slain, 

With fast sealed eyes, 
And bade the dead rise up and live again, 

And she did rise. 

And all the world was bright with her through 
him: 

But dark with strife, 
Like heaven's own sun that storming clouds bedim, 

Was all his life. 

Life and the clouds are vanished: hate and fear 

Have had their span 
Of time to hurt, and are not: he is here, 

The sunlike man. 

City superb that hadst Columbus first 

For sovereign son, 
Be prouder that thy breast hath later nurst 

This mightier one. 

Glory be his for ever, while his land 

Lives and is free, 
As with controlling breath and sovereign hand 

He bade her be. 

47 



GIUSEPPE MAZZINI 

Earth shows to heaven the names by thousands told 

That crown her fame, 
But highest of all that heaven and earth behold 

Mazzini's name. 



LES CASQUETS 



FROM the depths of the waters that lighten and 

darken 

With change everlasting of life and of death, 
Where hardly by noon if the lulled ear hearken 

It hears the sea's as a tired child's breath, 
Where hardly by night if an eye dare scan it 
The storm lets shipwreck be seen or heard, 
As the reefs to the waves and the foam to the granite 
Respond one merciless word, 

Sheer seen and far, in the sea's live heaven, 

A seamew's flight from the wild sweet land, 
White-plumed with foam if the wind wake, seven 
Black helms as of warriors that stir not stand. 
From the depths that abide and the waves that en- 
viron 

Seven rocks rear heads that the midnight masks; 
And the strokes of the swords of the storm are as 
iron 

On the steel of the wave-worn casques. 

Be night's dark word as the word of a wizard, 
Be the word of dawn as a god's glad word, 

Like heads of the spirits of darkness visored . 
That see not for ever, nor ever have heard, 
vi.-4 49 



LES CASQUETS 

These basnets, plumed as for fight or plumeless, 

Crowned of the storm and by storm discrowned, 
Keep ward of the lists where the dead lie tombless 
And the tale of them is not found. 

Nor eye may number nor hand may reckon 
The tithes that are taken of life by the dark, 

Or the ways of the path, if doom's hand beckon, 
For the soul to fare as a helmless bark 

Fare forth on a way that no sign showeth, 
Nor aught of its goal or of aught between 

A path for her flight which no fowl knoweth, 
Which the vulture's eye hath not seen. 

Here still, though the wave and the wind seem lovers 
Lulled half asleep by their own soft words, 

A dream as of death in the sun's light hovers, 
And a sign in the motions and cries of the birds. 

Dark auguries and keen from the sweet sea-swallows 
Strike noon with a sense as of midnight's breath, 

And the wing that flees and the wing that follows 
Are as types of the wings of death. 

For here, when the night roars round, and under 

The white sea lightens and leaps like fire, 
Acclaimed of storm and applauded in thunder, 

Sits death on the throne of his crowned desire. 
Yea, hardly the hand of the god might fashion 
A seat more strong for his strength to take, 
For the might of his heart and the pride of his 
passion 

To rejoice in the wars they make. 
5 



LES CASQUETS 

When the heart in him brightens with blitheness of 

battle 

And the depth of its thirst is fulfilled with strife, 
And his ear with the ravage of bolts that rattle, 

And the soul of death with the pride of life, 
Till the darkness is loud with his dark thanksgiv- 
ing 

And wind and cloud are as chords of his hymn, 
There is nought save death in the deep night liv- 
ing, 

And the whole night worships him. 

Heaven's height bows down to him, signed with his 

token, 

And the sea's depth, moved as a heart that yearns, 
Heaves up to him, strong as a heart half broken, 

A heart that breaks in a prayer that burns. 
Of cloud is the shrine of his worship moulded, 
But the altar therein is of sea-shaped stone, 
Whereon, with the strength of his wide wings folded, 
Sits death in the dark, alone. 

He hears the word of his servant spoken, 

The word that the wind his servant saith; 
Storm writes on the front of the night his token, 

That the skies may seem to bow down to death. 
But the clouds that stoop and the storms that min- 
ister 

Serve but as thralls that fulfil their tasks; 
And his seal is not set save here on the sinister 
Crests reared of the crownless casques. 
5 1 



LES CASQUETS 

Nor flame nor plume of the storm that crowned 

them 

Gilds or quickens their stark black strength. 
Life lightens and murmurs and laughs right round 

them, 
At peace with the noon's whole breadth and 

length, 
At one with the heart of the soft-souled heaven, 

At one with the life of the kind wild land: 
But its touch may unbrace not the strengths of the 
seven 

Casques hewn of the storm -wind's hand. 

No touch may loosen the black braced helmlets 
For the wild elves' heads of the wild waves 

wrought. 

As flowers on the sea are her small green realmlets, 
Like heavens made out of a child's heart's thought ; 
But these as thorns of her desolate places, 

Strong fangs that fasten and hold lives fast: 
And the vizors are framed as for formless faces 
That a dark dream sees go past. 

Of fear and of fate are the frontlets fashioned, 

And the heads behind them are dire and dumb. 
When the heart of the darkness is scarce impas- 
sioned, 

Thrilled scarce with sense of the wrath to come, 
They bear the sign from of old engraven, 

Though peace be round them and strife seem far, 
That here is none but the night-wind's haven, 
With death for the harbour bar. 
5 2 



LES CASQUETS 

Of the iron of doom are the casque ts carven, 
That never the rivets thereof should burst. 

When the heart of the darkness is hunger-starven, 
And the throats of the gulfs are agape for thirst, 

And stars are as flowers that the wind bids wither, 
And dawn is as hope struck dead by fear, 

The rage of the ravenous night sets hither, 
And the crown of her work is here. 

All shores about and afar lie lonely, 

But lonelier are these than the heart of grief, 

These loose-linked rivets of rock, whence only 
Strange life scarce gleams from the sheer main reef, 

With a blind wan face in the wild wan morning, 
With a live lit flame on its brows by night, 

That the lost may lose not its word's mute warning 
And the blind by its grace have sight. 

Here, walled in with the wide waste water, 

Grew the grace of a girl's lone life, 
The sea's and the sea-wind's foster-daughter, 
And peace was hers in the main mid strife. 
For her were the rocks clothed round with thunder, 
And the crests of them carved by the storm-smith's 

craft : 
For her was the mid storm rent in sunder 

As with passion that wailed and laughed. 

For her the sunrise kindled and scattered 
The red rose-leaflets of countless cloud: 

For her the blasts of the springtide shattered 
The strengths reluctant of waves back-bowed. 
53 



LES CASQUETS 

For her would winds in the mid sky levy 

Bright wars that hardly the night bade cease: 
At noon, when sleep on the sea lies heavy, 
For her would the sun make peace. 

Peace rose crowned with the dawn on golden 
Lit leagues of triumph that flamed and smiled: 

Peace lay lulled in the moon-beholden 

Warm darkness making the world's heart mild. 

For all the wide waves' troubles and treasons, 
One word only her soul's ear heard 

Speak from stormless and storm-rent seasons, 
And nought save peace was the word. 

All her life waxed large with the light of it, 

All her heart fed full on the sound: 
Spirit and sense were exalted in sight of it, 

Compassed and girdled and clothed with it 

round 
Sense was none but a strong still rapture, 

Spirit was none but a joy sublime, 
Of strength to curb and of craft to capture 
The craft and the strength of Time. 

Time lay bound as in painless prison 

There, closed in with a strait small space. 
Never thereon as a strange light risen 

Change had unveiled for her grief's far face. 
Three white walls flung out from the basement 

Girt the width of the world whereon 
Gazing at night from her flame-lit casement 
She saw where the dark sea shone. 
54 



LES CASQUETS 

Hardly the breadth of a few brief paces, 
Hardly the length of a strong man's stride, 

The small court flower-lit with children's faces 
Scarce held scope for a bird to hide. 

Yet here was a man's brood reared and hidden 
Between the rocks and the towers and the foam, 

Where peril and pity and peace were bidden 
As guests to the same sure home. 

Here would pity keep watch for peril, 

And surety comfort his heart with peace. 
No flower save one, where the reefs lie sterile, 

Gave of the seed of its heart's increase. 
Pity and surety and peace most lowly 

Were the root and the stem and the bloom of the 

flower : 

And the light and the breath of the buds kept holy 
That maid's else blossomless bower. 

With never a leaf but the seaweed's tangle, 
Never a bird's but the seamew's note, 

It heard all round it the strong storms wrangle, 
Watched far past it the waste wrecks float. 

But her soul was stilled by the sky's endurance, 
And her heart made glad with the sea's content; 

And her faith waxed more in the sun's assurance 
For the winds that came and went. 

Sweetness was brought for her forth of the bitter 
Sea's strength, and light of the deep sea's dark, 

From where green lawns on Alderney glitter 
To the bastioned crags of the steeps of Sark, 
55 



LES CASQUETS 

These she knew from afar beholden, 

And marvelled haply what life would be 
On moors that sunset and dawn leave golden, 
In dells that smile on the sea. 

And forth she fared as a stout-souled rover, 
For a brief blithe raid on the bounding brine: 

And light winds ferried her light bark over 
To the lone soft island of fair-limbed kine. 

But the league-long length of its wild green border, 
And the small bright streets of serene St. Anne, 

Perplexed her sense with a strange disorder 
At sight of the works of man. 

The world was here, and the world's confusion, 
And the dust of the wheels of revolving life, 

Pain, labour, change, and the fierce illusion 
Of strife more vain than the sea's old strife. 

And her heart within her was vexed, and dizzy 
The sense of her soul as a wheel that whirled: 

She might not endure for a space that busy 
Loud coil of the troublous world. 

Too full, she said, was the world of trouble, 
Too dense with noise of contentious things, 

And shows less bright than the blithe foam's bubble 
As home she fared on the smooth wind's wings. 

For joy grows loftier in air more lonely, 
Where only the sea's brood fain would be; 

Where only the heart may receive in it only 
The love of the heart of the sea. 



A BALLAD OF SARK 



HIGH beyond the granite portal arched across 
Like the gateway of some godlike giant's hold 

Sweep and swell the billowy breasts of moor and moss 
East and westward, and the dell their slopes enfold 
Basks in purple, glows in green, exults in gold. 

Glens that know the dove and fells that hear the lark 

Fill with joy the rapturous island, as an ark 

Full of spicery wrought from herb and flower and 
tree. 

None would dream that grief even here may disem- 
bark 
On the wrathful woful marge of earth and sea. 

Rocks emblazoned like the mid shield's royal boss 
Take the sun with all their blossom broad and 

bold. 
None would dream that all this moorland's glow and 

gloss 

Could be dark as tombs that strike the spirit acold 
Even in eyes that opened here, and here behold 
Now no sun relume from hope's belated spark 
Any comfort, nor may ears of mourners hark 
Though the ripe woods ring with golden-throated 

glee. 

While the soul lies shattered, like a stranded bark 
On the wrathful woful marge of earth and sea. 
57 



A BALLAD OF SARK 

Death and doom, are they whose crested triumphs 

toss 
On the proud plumed waves whence mourning 

notes are tolled. 
Wail of perfect woe and moan for utter loss 

Raise the bride-song through the graveyard on the 

wold 
Where the bride-bed keeps the bridegroom fast in 

mould, 
Where the bride, with death for priest and doom for 

clerk, 
Hears for choir the throats of waves like wolves that 

bark, 

Sore anhungered, off the drear Eperquerie, 
Fain to spoil the strongholds of the strength of Sark 
On the wrathful woful marge of earth and sea. 

Prince of storm and tempest, lord whose ways are 

dark, 
Wind whose wings are spread for flight that none 

may mark, 

Lightly dies the joy that lives by grace of thee. 
Love through thee lies bleeding, hope lies cold and 

stark, 
On the wrathful woful marge of earth and sea. 



NINE YEARS OLD 
FEBRUARY 4, 1883 



LORD of light, whose shrine no hands destroy, 

God of song, whose hymn no tongue refuses, 
Now, though spring far hence be cold and coy, 

Bid the golden mouths of all the Muses 
Ring forth gold of strains without alloy, 

Till the ninefold rapture that suffuses 
Heaven with song bid earth exult for joy, 

Since the child whose head this dawn bedews is 
Sweet as once thy violet-cradled boy. 



ii 

Even as he lay lapped about with flowers, 

Lies the life now nine years old before us 
Lapped about with love in all its hours; 

Hailed of many loves that chant in chorus 
Loud or low from lush or leafless bowers, 

Some from hearts exultant born sonorous, 
Some scarce louder - voiced than soft-tongued 

showers 
Two months hence, when spring's light wings 

poised o'er us 

High shall hover, and her heart be ours. 

59 



NINE YEARS OLD 

in 

Even as he, though man-forsaken, smiled 

On the soft kind snakes divinely bidden 
There to feed him in the green mid wild 

Full with hurtless honey, till the hidden 
Birth should prosper, finding fate more mild, 

So full-fed with pleasures unforbidden, 
So by love's lures blamelessly beguiled, 

Laughs the nursling of our hearts unchidden 
Yet by change that mars not yet the child. 



IV 

Ah, not yet! Thou, lord of night and day, 

Time, sweet father of such blameless pleasure, 
Time, false friend who tak'st thy gifts away, 

Spare us yet some scantlings of the treasure, 
Leave us yet some rapture of delay, 

Yet some bliss of blind and fearless leisure 
Unprophetic of delight's decay, 

Yet some nights and days wherein to measure 
All the joys that bless us while they may. 



Not the waste Arcadian woodland, wet 
Still with dawn and vocal with Alpheus, 

Reared a nursling worthier love's regret, 

Lord, than this, whose eyes beholden free us 

Straight from bonds the soul would fain forget, 
Fain cast off, that night and day might see us 
60 



NINE YEARS OLD 

Clear once more of life's vain fume and fret: 

Leave us, then, whate'er thy doom decree us, 
Yet some days wherein to love him yet. 

VI 

Yet some days wherein the child is ours, 

Ours, not thine, O lord whose hand is o'er us 
Always, as the sky with suns and showers 

Dense and radiant, soundless or sonorous; 
Yet some days for love's sake, ere the bowers 

Fade wherein his fair first years kept chorus 
Night and day with Graces robed like hours, 

Ere this worshipped childhood wane before us, 
Change, and bring forth fruit but no more flowers. 

VII 

Love we may the thing that is to be, 

Love we must: but how forego this olden 
Joy, this flower of childish love, that we 

Held more dear than aught of Time is holden 
Time, whose laugh is like as Death's to see 

Time, who heeds not aught of all beholden, 
Heard, or touched in passing flower or tree, 

Tares or grain of leaden days or golden 
More than wind has heed of ships at sea? 

VIII 

First the babe, a very rose of joy, 

Sweet as hope's first note of jubilation, 

Passes : then must growth and change destroy 
Next the child, and mar the consecration 
61 



NINE YEARS OLD 

Hallowing yet, ere thought or sense annoy, 
Childhood's yet half heavenlike habitation, 

Bright as truth and frailer than a toy; 
Whence its guest with eager gratulation 

Springs, and life grows larger round the boy. 

IX 

Yet, ere sunrise wholly cease to shine, 

Ere change come to chide our hearts, and scatter 
Memories marked for love's sake with a sign, 

Let the light of dawn beholden flatter 
Yet some while our eyes that feed on thine. 

Child, with love that change nor time can shatter, 
Love, whose silent song says more than mine 

Now, though charged with elder loves and latter 
Here it hails a lord whose years are nine. 



AFTER A READING 

FOR the seven times seventh time love would renew 

the delight without end or alloy 
That it takes in the praise as it takes in the presence 

of eyes that fulfil it with joy; 
But how shall it praise them and rest unrebuked by 

the presence and pride of the boy ? 

Praise meet for a child is unmeet for an elder whose 

winters and springs are nine: 
What song may have strength in its wings to expand 

them, or light in its eyes to shine, 
That shall seem not as weakness and darkness if 

matched with the theme I would fain make 

mine? 

The round little flower of a face that exults in the 

sunshine of shadowless days 
Defies the delight it enkindles to sing of it aught not 

unfit for the praise 
Of the sweetest of all things that eyes may rejoice in 

and tremble with love as they gaze. 
63 



AFTER A READING 

Such tricks and such meanings abound on the li>s 
and the brows that are brighter than light, 

The demure little chin, the sedate little nose, and the 
forehead of sun-stained white, 

That love overflows into laughter and laughter sub- 
sides into love at the sight. 

Each limb and each feature has action in tune with 
the meaning that smiles as it speaks 

From the fervour of eyes and the fluttering of hands 
in a foretaste of fancies and freaks, 

When the thought of them deepens the dimples that 
laugh in the corners and curves of his cheeks. 

As a bird when the music within her is yet too in- 
tense to be spoken in song, 

That pauses a little for pleasure to feel how the notes 
from within wards throng, 

So pauses the laugh at his lips for a little, and waxes 
within more strong. 

As the music elate and triumphal that bids all things 

of the dawn bear part 
With the tune that prevails when her passion has 

risen into rapture of passionate art, 
So lightens the laughter made perfect that leaps from 

its nest in the heaven of his heart. 

Deep, grave and sedate is the gaze of expectant 

intensity bent for awhile 
And absorbed on its aim as the tale that enthralls 

him uncovers the weft of its wile, 
Till the goal of attention is touched, and expectancy 

kisses delight in a smile. 
64 



AFTER A READING 






And it seems to us here that in Paradise hardly the 

spirit of Lamb or of Blake 
May hear or behold aught sweeter than lightens and 

rings when his bright thoughts break 
In laughter that well might lure them to look, and to 

smile as of old for his sake. 

O singers that best loved children, and best for their 

sakes are beloved of us here, 
In the world of your life everlasting, where love has 

no thorn and desire has no fear, 
All else may be sweeter than aught is on earth, 

nought dearer than these are dear. 

VI. 5 



MAYTIME IN MIDWINTER 



A NEW year gleams on us, tearful 
And troubled and smiling dim 

As the srnile on a lip still fearful, 
As glances of eyes that swim: 

But the bird of my heart makes cheerful 
The days that are bright for him. 

Child, how may a man's love merit 
The grace you shed as you stand, 

The gift that is yours to inherit ? 

Through you are the bleak days bland; 

Your voice is a light to my spirit; 
You bring the sun in your hand. 

The year's wing shows not a feather 

As yet of the plumes to be; 
Yet here in the shrill grey weather 

The spring's self stands at my knee, 
And laughs as we commune together, 

And lightens the world we see. 

The rains are as dews for the christening 
Of dawns that the nights benumb: 
66 



MAYTIME IN MIDWINTER 

The spring's voice answers me listening 

For speech of a child to come, 
While promise of music is glistening 

On lips that delight keeps dumb. 

The mists and the storms receding 

At sight of you smile and die: 
Your eyes held wide on me reading 

Shed summer across the sky: 
Your heart shines clear for me, heeding 
No more of the world than I. 

The world, what is it to you, dear, 

And me, if its face be grey, 
And the new-born year be a shrewd year 

For flowers that the fierce winds fray ? 
You smile, and the sky seems blue, dear; 

You laugh, and the month turns May. 

Love cares not for care, he has daffed her 

Aside as a mate for guile: 
The sight that my soul yearns after 

Feeds full my sense for awhile; 
Your sweet little sun-faced laughter, 

Your good little glad grave smile. 

Your hands through the bookshelves flutter; 

Scott, Shakespeare, Dickens, are caught; 
Blake's visions, that lighten and mutter; 

Moliere and his smile has nought 
Left on it of sorrow, to utter 

The secret things of his thought. 
67 



MAYTIME IN MIDWINTER 

No grim thing written or graven 

But grows, if you gaze on it, bright; 

A lark's note rings from the raven, 
And tragedy's robe turns white; 

And shipwrecks drift into haven; 
And darkness laughs, and is light. 

Grief seems but a vision of madness; 

Life's key-note peals from above 
With nought in it more of sadness 

Than broods on the heart of a dove: 
At sight of you, thought grows gladness, 

And life, through love of you, love. 



A DOUBLE BALLAD OF AUGUST 
(1884) 



ALL Afric, winged with death and fire, 
Pants in our pleasant English air. 
Each blade of grass is tense as wire, 
And all the wood's loose trembling hair 
Stark in the broad and breathless glare 
Of hours whose touch wastes herb and tree, 
This bright sharp death shines everywhere ; 
Life yearns for solace toward the sea. 

Earth seems a corpse upon the pyre; 
The sun, a scourge for slaves to bear. 
All power to fear, all keen desire, 
Lies dead as dreams of days that were 
Before the new-born world lay bare 
In heaven's wide eye, whereunder we 
Lie breathless till the season spare: 
Life yearns for solace toward the sea. 

Fierce hours, with ravening fangs that tire 
On spirit and sense, divide and share 
The throbs of thoughts that scarce respire, 
The throes of dreams that scarce forbear 
69 



A DOUBLE BALLAD OF AUGUST 

One mute immitigable prayer 
For cold perpetual sleep to be 
Shed snowlike on the sense of care. 
Life yearns for solace toward the sea. 

The dust of ways where men suspire 
Seems even the dust of death's dim lair. 
But though the feverish days be dire 
The sea-wind rears and cheers its fair 
Blithe broods of babes that here and there 
Make the sands laugh and glow for glee 
With gladder flowers than gardens wear. 
Life yearns for solace toward the sea. 

The music dies not off the lyre 
That lets no soul alive despair. 
Sleep strikes not dumb the breathless choir 
Of waves whose note bids sorrow spare. 
As glad they sound, as fast they fare, 
As when fate's word first set them free 
And gave them light and night to wear. 
Life yearns for solace toward the sea. 

For there, though night and day conspire 
To compass round with toil and snare 
And changeless whirl of change, whose gyre 
Draws all things deathwards unaware, 
The spirit of life they scourge and scare, 
Wild waves that follow on waves that flee 
Laugh, knowing that yet, though earth despair, 
Life yearns for solace toward the sea. 



HEARTSEASE COUNTRY 

TO ISABEL SWINBURNE 



THE far green westward heavens are bland, 
The far green Wiltshire downs are clear 

As these deep meadows hard at hand: 
The sight knows hardly far from near, 
Nor morning joy from evening cheer. 

In cottage garden-plots their bees 

Find many a fervent flower to seize 
And strain and drain the heart away 

From ripe sweet-williams and sweet-peas 
At every turn on every way. 

But gladliest seems one flower to expand 
Its whole sweet heart all round us here; 

'Tis Heartsease Country, Pansy Land. 
Nor sounds nor savours harsh and drear 
Where engines yell and halt and veer 

Can vex the sense of him who sees 

One flower-plot midway, that for trees 
Has poles, and sheds all grimed or grey 

For bowers like those that take the breeze 
At every turn on every way. 



HEARTSEASE COUNTRY 

Content even there they smile and stand, 

Sweet thought's heart-easing flowers, nor fear, 
With reek and roaring steam though fanned, 

Nor shrink nor perish as they peer. 

The heart's eye holds not those more dear 
That glow between the lanes and leas 
Where'er the homeliest hand may please 

To bid them blossom as they may 
Where light approves and wind agrees 

At every turn on every way. 

Sister, the word of winds and seas 
Endures not as the word of these 

Your wayside flowers whose breath would say 
How hearts that love may find heart's ease 

At every turn on every way. 



A BALLAD OF APPEAL 

TO CHRISTINA G. ROSSETTI 

SONG wakes with every wakening year 
From hearts of birds that only feel 

Brief spring's deciduous flower-time near: 
And song more strong to help or heal 
Shall silence worse than winter seal ? 

From love-lit thought's remurmuring cave 

The notes that rippled, wave on wave, 
Were clear as love, as faith were strong; 

And all souls blessed the soul that gave 
Sweet water from the well of song. 

All hearts bore fruit of joy to hear, 
All eyes felt mist upon them steal 

For joy's sake, trembling toward a tear, 
When, loud as marriage-bells that peal, 
Or flutelike soft, or keen like steel, 

Sprang the sheer music; sharp or grave, 

We heard the drift of winds that drave, 
And saw, swept round by ghosts in throng, 

Dark rocks, that yielded, where they clave, 
Sweet water from the well of song. 
73 



A BALLAD OF APPEAL 

Blithe verse made all the dim sense clear 
That smiles of babbling babes conceal: 

Prayer's perfect heart spake here: and here 
Rose notes of blameless woe and weal, 
More soft than this poor song's appeal. 

Where orchards bask, where cornfields wave, 

They dropped like rains that cleanse and lave, 
And scattered all the year along, 

Like dewfall on an April grave, 
Sweet water from the well of song. 

Ballad, go bear our prayer, and crave 
Pardon, because thy lowlier stave 

Can do this plea no right, but wrong, 
Ask nought beside thy pardon, save 

Sweet water from the well of song. 



CRADLE SONGS 
(TO A TUNE OP BLAKE'S) 



BABY, baby bright, 
Sleep can steal from sight 
Little of your light: 

Soft as fire in dew, 
Still the life in you 
Lights your slumber through. 

Four white eyelids keep 
Fast the seal of sleep 
Deep as love is deep: 

Yet, though closed it lies, 
Love behind them spies 
Heaven in two blue eyes. 



ii 

Baby, baby dear, 
Earth and heaven are near 
Now, for heaven is here. 
75 



CRADLE SONGS 

Heaven is every place 
Where your flower-sweet face 
Fills our eyes with grace. 



Till your own eyes deign 
Earth a glance again, 
Earth and heaven are twain. 

Now your sleep is done, 
Shine, and show the sun 
Earth and heaven are one= 



in 

Baby, baby sweet, 
Love's own lips are meet 
Scarce to kiss your feet. 

Hardly love's own ear, 
When your laugh crows clear, 
Quite deserves to hear. 

Hardly love's own wile, 
Though it please awhile, 
Quite deserves your smile. 

Baby full of grace, 
Bless us yet a space: 
Sleep will come apace. 
76 



CRADLE SONGS 

IV 

Baby, baby true, 
Man, whate'er he do, 
May deceive not you. 

Smiles whose love is guile, 
Worn a flattering while, 
Win from you no smile. 4 

One, the smile alone 

Out of love's heart grown, 

Ever wins your own. 

Man, a dunce uncouth, 
Errs in age and youth: 
Babies know the truth. 



Baby, baby fair, 
Love is fain to dare 
Bless your haughtiest air 

Baby blithe and bland, 
Reach but forth a hand 
None may dare withstand; 

Love, though wellnigh cowed, 
Yet would praise aloud 
Pride so sweetly proud. 
77 



CRADLE SONGS 

No! the fitting word 
Even from breeze or bird 
Never yet was heard. 



VI 

Baby, baby kind, 
Though no word we find, 
'Bear us yet in mind. 

Half a little hour, 
Baby bright in bower, 
Keep this thought aflower- 

Love it is, I see, 

Here with heart and knee 

Bows and worships me. 

What can baby do, 
Then, for love so true? 
Let it worship you. 



VII 

Baby, baby wise, 
Love's divine surmise 
Lights your constant eyes. 

Day and night and day 
One mute word would they, 
As the soul saith, say. 
78 



CRADLE SONGS 

Trouble comes and goes; 
Wonder ebbs and flows; 
Love remains and glows. 

As the fledgeling dove 
Feels the breast above, 
So your heart feels love. 









PELAGIUS 



THE sea shall praise him and the shores bear part 
That reared him when the bright south world was 

black 
With fume of creeds more foul than hell's own 

rack, 

Still darkening more love's face with loveless art 
Since Paul, faith's fervent Antichrist, of heart 
Heroic, haled the world vehemently back 
From Christ's pure path on dire Jehovah's track, 
And said to dark Elisha's Lord, "Thou art." 
But one whose soul had put the raiment on 
Of love that Jesus left with James and John 

Withstood that Lord whose seals of love were lies, 
Seeing what we see how, touched by Truth's bright 

rod, 

The fiend whom Jews and Africans called God 
Feels his own hell take hold on him, and dies. 



II 

The world has no such flower in any land, 
And no such pearl in any gulf the sea, 
As any babe on any mother's knee. 

But all things blessed of men by saints are banned : 

80 






PELAGIUS 

God gives them grace to read and understand 
The palimpsest of evil, writ where we, 
Poor fools and lovers but of love, can see 
Nought save a blessing signed by Love's own hand. 
The smile that opens heaven on us for them 
Hath sin's transmitted birthmark hid therein: 

The kiss it craves calls down from heaven a rod. 
If innocence be sin that Gods condemn, 

Praise we the men who so being born in sin 
First dared the doom and broke the bonds of 
God. 



in 

Man's heel is on the Almighty's neck who said, 
Let there be hell, and there was hell on earth. 
But not for that may men forget their worth 

Nay, but much more remember them who led 

The living first from dwellings of the dead, 

And rent the cerecloths that were wont to engirth 
Souls wrapped and swathed and swaddled from 
their birth 

With lies that bound them fast from heel to head. 

Among the tombs when wise men all their lives 

Dwelt, and cried out, and cut themselves with 
knives, 

These men, being foolish, and of saints abhorred, 
Beheld in heaven the sun by saints reviled, 

Love, and on earth one everlasting Lord 
In every likeness of a little child. 

VI. 6 



LOUIS BLANC 

THREE SONNETS TO HIS MEMORY 



THE stainless soul that smiled through glorious eyes; 

The bright grave brow whereon dark fortune's 
blast 

Might blow, but might not bend it, nor o'ercast, 
Save for one fierce fleet hour of shame, the skies 
Thrilled with warm dreams of worthier days to rise 

And end the whole world's winter; here at last, 

If death be death, have passed into the past; 
If death be life, live, though their semblance dies. 
Hope and high faith inviolate of distrust 

Shone strong as life inviolate of the grave 

Through each bright word and lineament serene. 
Most loving righteousness and love most just 

Crowned, as day crowns the dawn-enkindled wave, 
With visible aureole thine unfaltering mien. 



ii 

Strong time and fire-swift change, with lightnings 

clad 

And shod with thunders of reverberate years, 
Have filled with light and sound of hopes and fears 
The space of many a season, since I had 

82 



LOUIS BLANC 

Grace of good hap to make my spirit glad, 

Once communing with thine: and memory hears 
The bright voice yet that then rejoiced mine ears, 

Sees yet the light of eyes that spake, and bade 

Fear not, but hope, though then time's heart were 

weak 

And heaven by hell shade-stricken, and the range 
Of high-born hope made questionable and strange 

As twilight trembling till the sunlight speak. 
Thou sawest the sunrise and the storm in one 
Break: seest thou now the storm-compelling sun? 



in 

Surely thou seest, O spirit of light and fire, 
Surely thou canst not choose, O soul, but see 
The days whose dayspring was beheld of thee 

Ere eyes less pure might have their hope's desire, 

Beholding life in heaven again respire 

Where men saw nought that was or was to be, 
Save only death imperial. Thou and he 

Who has the heart of all men's hearts for lyre, 

Ye twain, being great of spirit as time is great, 
And sure of sight as truth's own heavenward eye, 
Beheld the forms of forces passing by 

And certitude of equal-balanced fate, 

Whose breath forefelt makes darkness palpitate, 
And knew that light should live and darkness die. 



VOS DEOS LAUDAMUS: 

THE CONSERVATIVE JOURNALIST'S ANTHEM 

"As a matter of fact, no man living, or who ever lived 
not CAESAR or PERICLES, not SHAKESPEARE or MICHAEL AN- 
GELO could confer honour more than he took on entering 
the House of Lords." Saturday Review, December 15, 1883. 

"Clumsy and shallow snobbery can do no hurt." Ibid. 



LORDS our Gods, beneficent, sublime, 

In the evening, and before the morning flames, 
We praise, we bless, we magnify your names. 

The slave is he that serves not; his the crime 

And shame, who hails not as the crown of Time 
That House wherein the all-envious world acclaims 
Such glory that the reflex of it shames 

All crowns bestowed of men for prose or rhyme. 

The serf, the cur, the sycophant is he 

Who feels no cringing motion twitch his knee 
When from a height too high for Shakespeare nods 

The wearer of a higher than Milton's crown. 

Stoop, Chaucer, stoop: Keats, Shelley, Burns, bow 

down: 

These have no part with you, O Lords our Gods. 
84 



VOS DEOS LAUDAMUS 


II 

O Lords our Gods, it is not that ye sit 
Serene above the thunder, and exempt 
From strife of tongues and casualties that tempt 

Men merely found by proof of manhood fit 

For service of their fellows: this is it 

Which sets you past the reach of Time's at- 
tempt, 
Which gives us right of justified contempt 

For commonwealths built up by mere men's wit: 

That gold unlocks not, nor may flatteries ope, 

The portals of your heaven ; that none may 

hope 
With you to watch how life beneath you plods, 

Save for high service given, high duty done; 

That never was your rank ignobly won: 

For this we give you praise, O Lords our Gods. 



in 

O Lords our Gods, the times are evil: you 
Redeem the time, because of evil days. 
While abject souls in servitude of praise 
Bow down to heads untitled, and the crew 
Whose honour dwells but in the deeds they do, 
From loftier hearts your nobler servants raise 
More manful salutation: yours are bays 
That not the dawn's plebeian pearls bedew; 
Yours, laurels plucked not of such hands as wove 
Old age its chaplet in Colonos' grove. 

85 



VOS DEOS LAUDAMUS 

<D 

Our time, with heaven and with itself at odds, 
Makes all lands else as seas that seethe and boil; 
But yours are yet the corn and wine and oil, 
And yours our worship yet, O Lords our Gods. 

December 15, 1883. 



ON THE BICENTENARY OF CORNEILLE 

CELEBRATED UNDER THE PRESIDENCY OF 
VICTOR HUGO 



SCARCE two hundred years are gone, and the world 

is past away 
As a noise of brawling wind, as a flash of breaking 

foam, 
That beheld the singer born who raised up the 

dead of Rome; 
And a mightier now than he bids him too rise up 

to-day. 
All the dim great age is dust, and its king is tombless 

clay, 
But its loftier laurel green as in living eyes it 

clomb, 

And his memory whom it crowned hath his peo- 
ple's heart for home, 

And the shade across it falls of a lordlier-flowering 
bay. 

Stately shapes about the tomb of their mighty maker 

pace, 
Heads of high-plumed Spaniards shine, souls revive 

of Roman race, 

87 



BICENTENARY OF CORNEILLE 

Sound of arms and words of wail through the glowing 

darkness rise, 
Speech of hearts heroic rings forth of lips that 

know not breath, 
And the light of thoughts august fills the pride of 

kindling eyes 

Whence of yore the spell of song drove the shadow 
of darkling death. 



IN SEPULCRETIS 



44 Vidistis ipso rapere de rogo coenam." CATULLUS, LIX. 3. 

"To publish even one line of an author which he himself 
has not intended for the public at large especially letters 
which are addressed to private persons is to commit a 
despicable act of felony." HEINE. 



IT is not then enough that men who give 

The best gifts given of man to man should feel, 
Alive, a snake's head ever at their heel: 
Small hurt the worms may do them while they live 
Such hurt as scorn for scorn's sake may forgive. 
But now, when death and fame have set one seal 
On tombs whereat Love, Grief, and Glory kneel, 
Men sift all secrets, in their critic sieve, 
Of graves wherein the dust of death might shrink 
To know what tongues defile the dead man's name 
With loathsome love, and praise that stings like 

shame. 
Rest once was theirs, who had crossed the mortal 

brink: 

No rest, no reverence now: dull fools undress 
Death's holiest shrine, life's veriest nakedness. 
89 



IN SEPULCRETIS 

II 

A man was born, sang, suffered, loved, and died. 
Men scorned him living: let us praise him dead. 
His life was brief and bitter, gently led 

And proudly, but with pure and blameless pride. 

He wrought no wrong toward any; satisfied 
With love and labour, whence our souls are fed 
With largesse yet of living wine and bread. 

Come, let us praise him: here is nought to hide. 

Make bare the poor dead secrets of his heart, 
Strip the stark-naked soul, that all may peer, 
Spy, smirk, sniff, snap, snort, snivel, snarl, and 
sneer : 

Let none so sad, let none so sacred part 
Lie still for pity, rest unstirred for shame, 
But all be scanned of all men. This is fame. 



in 

"Now, what a thing it is to be an ass!" ' 
If one, that strutted up the brawling streets 
As foreman of the flock whose concourse greets 

Men's ears with bray more dissonant than brass, 

Would change from blame to praise as coarse and 

crass 

His natural note, and learn the fawning feats 
Of lapdogs, who but knows what luck he meets ? 

But all in vain old fable holds her glass. 

1 Titus Andronicus, Act iv., Scene 2, 
90 



IN SEPULCRETIS 

Mocked and reviled by men of poisonous breath, 

A great man dies : but one thing worst was spared ; 

Not all his heart by their base hands lay bared. 
One comes to crown with praise the dust of death; 

And lo, through him this worst is brought to pass. 

Now, what a thing it is to be an ass! 



IV 

Shame, such as never yet dealt heavier stroke 
On heads more shameful, fall on theirs through 

whom 
Dead men may keep inviolate not their tomb, 

But all its depths these ravenous grave-worms choke. 

And yet what waste of wrath were this, to invoke 
Shame on the shameless ? Even their twin-born 

doom, 
Their native air of life, a carrion fume, 

Their natural breath of love, a noisome smoke, 

The bread they break, the cup whereof they drink, 
The record whose remembrance damns their name, 
Smells, tastes, and sounds of nothing but of shame. 

If thankfulness nor pity bids them think 

What work is this of theirs, and pause betimes, 
Not Shakespeare's grave would scare them off with 
rhymes. 



LOVE AND SCORN 



LOVE, loyallest and lordliest born of things, 
Immortal that shouldst be, though all else end, 
In plighted hearts of fearless friend with friend, 

Whose hand may curb or clip thy plume-plucked 
wings ? 

Not grief's nor time's: though these be lords and 

kings 

Crowned, and their yoke bid vassal passions bend, 
They may not pierce the spirit of sense, or blend 

Quick poison with the soul's live watersprings. 

The true clear heart whose core is manful trust 

Fears not that very death may turn to dust 
Love lit therein as toward a brother born, 

If one touch make not all its fine gold rust, 
If one breath blight not all its glad ripe corn, 
And all its fire be turned to fire of scorn. 



ii 

Scorn only, scorn begot of bitter proof 
By keen experience of a trustless heart, 
Bears burning in her new-born hand the dart 

Wherewith love dies heart-stricken, and the roof 

92 



LOVE AND SCORN 

Palls of his palace, and the storied woof 

Long woven of many a year with life's whole art 

Is rent like any rotten weed apart, 
And hardly with reluctant eyes aloof 
Cold memory guards one relic scarce exempt 
Yet from the fierce corrosion of contempt, 

And hardly saved by pity. Woe are we 
That once we loved, and love not; but we know 
The ghost of love, surviving yet in show, 

Where scorn has passed, is vain as grief must be. 



in 

O sacred, just, inevitable scorn, 

Strong child of righteous judgment, whom with 
grief 

The rent heart bears, and wins not yet relief, 
Seeing of its pain so dire a portent born, 
Must thou not spare one sheaf of all the corn, 

One doit of all the treasure? not one sheaf, 

Not one poor doit of all? not one dead leaf 
Of all that fell and left behind a thorn? 
Is man so strong that one should scorn another? 
Is any as God, not made of mortal mother, 

That love should turn in him to gall and flame? 
Nay: but the true is not the false heart's brother: 

Love cannot love disloyalty: the name 

That else it wears is love no more, but shame. 



ON THE DEATH OF RICHARD DOYLE 



A LIGHT of blameless laughter, fancy-bred, 
Soft-souled and glad and kind as love or sleep, 
Fades, and sweet mirth's own eyes are fain to weep 

Because her blithe and gentlest bird is dead. 

Weep, elves and fairies all, that never shed 
Tear yet for mortal mourning: you that keep 
The doors of dreams whence nought of ill may 
creep, 

Mourn once for one whose lips your honey fed. 

Let waters of the Golden River steep 

The rose-roots whence his grave blooms rosy-red, 

And murmuring of Hyblaean hives be deep 
About the summer silence of its bed, 

And nought less gracious than a violet peep 

Between the grass grown greener round his head. 



IN MEMORY OF HENRY A. BRIGHT 



YET again another, ere his crowning year, 

Gone from friends that here may look for him no 

more. 

Never now for him shall hope set wide the door, 
Hope that hailed him hither, fain to greet him here. 
All the gracious garden-flowers he held so dear, 
Old world English blossoms, all his homestead 

store, 
Old world grief had strewn them round his bier of 

yore, 

Bidding each drop leaf by leaf as tear by tear; 
Rarer lutes than mine had borne more tuneful token, 
Touched by subtler hands than echoing time can 

wrong, 
Sweet as flowers had strewn his graveward path 

along. 

Now may no such old sweet dirges more be spoken, 
Now the flowers whose breath was very song are 

broken, 
Nor may sorrow find again so sweet a song. 



A SOLITUDE 



SEA beyond sea, sand after sweep of sand, 

Here ivory smooth, here cloven and ridged with 

flow 
Of channelled waters soft as rain or snow, 

Stretch their lone length at ease beneath the bland 

Grey gleam of skies whose smile on wave and strand 
Shines weary like a man's who smiles to know 
That now no dream can mock his faith with show, 

Nor cloud for him seem living sea or land. 

Is there an end at all of all this waste, 
These crumbling cliffs defeatured and defaced, 
These ruinous heights of sea-sapped walls that slide 

Seaward with all their banks of bleak blown 

flowers 
Glad yet of life, ere yet their hope subside 

Beneath the coil of dull dense waves and hours ? 



VICTOR HUGO: 
L'ARCHIPEL DE LA MANCHE 

SEA and land are fairer now, nor aught is all the same, 
Since a mightier hand than Time's hath woven 

their votive wreath. 
Rocks as swords half drawn from out the smooth 

wave's jewelled sheath, 
Fields whose flowers a tongue divine hath numbered 

name by name, 
Shores whereby the midnight or the noon clothed 

round with flame 
Hears the clamour jar and grind which utters from 

beneath 
Cries of hungering waves like beasts fast bound 

that gnash their teeth, 
All of these the sun that lights them lights not like 

his fame; 

None of these is but the thing it was before he came. 
Where the darkling overfalls like dens of torment 

seethe, 
High on tameless moorlands, down in meadows 

bland and tame, 
Where the garden hides, and where the wind 

uproots the heath, 
Glory now henceforth for ever, while the world shall 

be, 
Shines, a star that keeps not time with change on 

earth and sea. 
vi-7 97 



THE TWILIGHT OF THE LORDS 



Is the sound a trumpet blown, or a bell for burial 

tolled, 
Whence the .whole air vibrates now to the clash of 

words like swords 
" Let us break their bonds in sunder, and cast away 

their cords; 

Long enough the world has mocked us, and mar- 
velled to behold 

How the grown man bears the curb whence his boy- 
hood was controlled"? 
Nay, but hearken : surer counsel more sober speech 

affords : 
"Is the past not all inscribed with the praises of 

our Lords? 
Is the memory dead of deeds done of yore, the love 

grown cold 
That should bind our hearts to trust in their counsels 

wise and bold? 
These that stand against you now, senseless 

crowds and heartless hordes, 
Are not these the sons of men that withstood your 

kings of old ? 

Theirs it is to bind and loose; theirs the key that 
knows the wards, 



THE TWILIGHT OF THE LORDS 

Theirs the staff to lead or smite; yours, the spades 

and ploughs and hods: 
Theirs to hear and yours to cry, Power is yours, 

O Lords our Gods." 



ii 

Hear, O England : these are they that would counsel 

thee aright. 
Wouldst thou fain have all thy sons sons of thine 

indeed, and free? 
Nay, but then no more at all as thou hast been 

shalt thou be: 
Needs must many dwell in darkness, that some may 

look on light; 
Needs must poor men brook the wrong that ensures 

the rich man's right. 
How shall kings and lords be worshipped, if no 

man bow the knee ? 
How, if no man worship these, may thy praise 

endure with thee? 
How, except thou trust in these, shall thy name not 

lose its might? 
These have had their will of thee since the Norman 

came to smite: 
Sires on grandsires, even as wave after wave along 

the sea, 
Sons on sires have followed, steadfast as clouds or 

hours in flight. 

Time alone hath power to say, time alone hath 
eyes to see, 

99 



THE TWILIGHT OF THE LORDS 

If your walls of rule be built but of clay-compacted 

sods, 
If your place of old shall know you no more, O Lords 

our Gods. 



in 

Through the stalls wherein ye sit sounds a sentence 

while we wait, 
Set your house in order: is it not builded on the 

sand? 
Set your house in order, seeing the night is hard at 

hand. 
As the twilight of the Gods in the northern dream of 

fate 
Is this hour that comes against you, albeit this hour 

come late. 
Ye whom Time and Truth bade heed, and ye would 

not understand, 
Now an axe draws nigh the tree overshadowing all 

the land, 
And its edge of doom is set to the root of all your 

state. 
Light is more than darkness now, faith than fear and 

hope than hate; 
And what morning wills, behold, all the night shall 

not withstand. 
Rods of office, helms of rule, staffs of wise men, 

crowns of great. 

While the people willed, ye bare; now their hopes 
and hearts expand, 
100 



THE TWILIGHT OF THE LORDS 

Time with silent foot makes dust of your broken 

crowns and rods, 
And the lordship of your godhead is gone, O Lords 

our Gods. 



CLEAR THE WAY! 



CLEAR the way, my lords and lackeys ! you have had 

your day. 
Here you have your answer England's yea against 

your nay: 
Long enough your house has held you: up, and clear 

the way! 

Lust and falsehood, craft and traffic, precedent and 

gold, 
Tongue of courtier, kiss of harlot, promise bought 

and sold, 
Gave you heritage of empire over thralls of old. 

Now that all these things are rotten, all their gold is 

rust, 
Quenched the pride they lived by, dead the faith and 

cold the lust, 
Shall their heritage not also turn again to dust? 

By the grace of these they reigned, who left their sons 

their sway: 
By the grace of these, what England says her lords 

unsay : 
Till at last her cry go forth against them Clear the 

way! 

IO2 



CLEAR THE WAY! 

By the grace of trust in treason knaves have lived 

and lied: 
By the force of fear and folly fools have fed their 

pride: 
By the strength of sloth and custom reason stands 

defied. 

Lest perchance your reckoning on some latter day be 

worse, 
Halt and hearken, lords of land and princes of the 

purse, 
Ere the tide be full that comes with blessing and with 

curse. 

Where we stand, as where you sit, scarce falls a 

sprinkling spray; 
But the wind that swells, the wave that follows, none 

shall stay: 
Spread -no more of sail for shipwreck: out, and clear 

the way! 



A WORD FOR THE COUNTRY 



MEN, born of the land that for ages 

Has been honoured where freedom was dear, 
Till your labour wax fat on its wages 
You shall never be peers of a peer. 
Where might is, the right is : 

Long purses make strong swords. 
Let weakness learn meekness: 
God save the House of Lords! 

You are free to consume in stagnation: 

You are equal in right to obey: 
You are brothers in bonds, and the nation 
Is your mother whose sons are her prey. 
Those others your brothers, 

Who toil not, weave, nor till, 
Refuse you and use you 
As waiters on their will. 

But your fathers bowed down to their masters 
And obeyed them and served and adored. 

Shall the sheep not give thanks to their pastors ? 
Shall the serf not give praise to his lord? 
104 



A WORD FOR THE COUNTRY 

Time, waning and gaining, 
Grown other now than then, 

Needs pastors and masters 
For sheep, and not for men. 

If his grandsire did service in battle, 

If his grandam was kissed by a king, 
Must men to my lord be as cattle 
Or as apes that he leads in a string ? 
To deem so, to dream so, 

Would bid the world proclaim 
The dastards for bastards, 
Not heirs of England's fame. 



Not in spite but in right of dishonour, 

There are actors who trample your boards 
Till the earth that endures you upon her 
Grows weary to bear you, my lords. 
Your token is broken, 

It will not pass for gold: 
Your glory looks hoary, 

Your sun in heaven turns cold. 

They are worthy to reign on their brothers, 
To contemn them as clods and as carles, 
Who are Graces by grace of such mothers 
As brightened the bed of King Charles. 
What manner of banner, 

What fame is this they flaunt, 
That Britain, soul-smitten, 

Should shrink before their vaunt ? 
I0 5 



A WORD FOR THE COUNTRY 

Bright sons of sublime prostitution, 

You are made of the mire of the street 
Where your grandmothers walked in pollution 
Till a coronet shone at their feet. 
Your Graces, whose faces 

Bear high the bastard's brand, 
Seem stronger no longer 
Than all this honest land. 

But the sons of her soldiers and seamen, 
They are worthy forsooth of their hire. 
If the father won praise from all free men, 
Shall the sons not exult in their sire? 
Let money make sunny 

And power make proud their lives, 
And feed them and breed them 
Like drones in drowsiest hives. 

But if haply the name be a burden 

And the souls be no kindred of theirs, 
Should wise men rejoice in such guerdon 
Or brave men exult in such heirs ? 
Or rather the father 

Frown, shamefaced, on the son, 
And no men but foemen, 
Deriding, cry "Well done"? 

Let the gold and the land they inherit 

Pass ever from hand into hand: 
In right of the forefather's merit 

Let the gold be the son's, and the land. 
1 06 



A WORD FOR THE COUNTRY 

vSoft raiment, rich payment, 
High place, the state affords; 

Full measure of pleasure; 
But now no more, my lords. 

Is the future beleaguered with dangers 
If the poor be far other than slaves? 
Shall the sons of the land be as strangers 
In the land of their forefathers' graves? 
Shame were it to bear it, 

And shame it were to see: 
If free men you be, men, 
Let proof proclaim you free. 

''But democracy means dissolution: 

See, laden with clamour and crime, 
How the darkness of dim revolution 
Comes deepening the twilight of time! 
Ah, better the fetter 

That holds ;the poor man's hand 
Than peril of sterile 

Blind change that wastes the land. 

"Gaze forward through clouds that environ; 

It shall be as it was in the past: 
Not with dreams, but with blood and with iron, 
Shall a nation be moulded to last." 
So teach they, so preach they, 

Who dream themselves the dream 
That hallows the gallows 

And bids the scaffold stream. 
107 



A WORD FOR THE COUNTRY 

"With a hero at head, and a nation 

Well gagged and well drilled and well cowed, 
And a gospel of war and damnation, 
Has not empire a right to be proud? 
Fools prattle and tattle 

Of freedom, reason, right, 
The beauty of duty, 
The loveliness of light. 

"But we know, we believe it, we see it, 

Force only has power upon earth." 
So be it! and ever so be it 

For souls that are bestial by birth! 
Let Prussian with Russian 

Exchange the kiss of slaves: 
But sea-folk are free folk 

By grace of winds and waves. 

Has the past from the sepulchres beckoned ? 

Let answer from Englishmen be 
No man shall be lord of us reckoned 
Who is baser, not better, than we. 
No coward, empowered 

To soil a brave man's name: 
For shame's sake and fame's sake, 
Enough of fame and shame. 

Fame needs not the golden addition; 

Shame bears it abroad as a brand. 
Let the deed, and no more the tradition, 

Speak out and be heard through the land. 
108 



A WORD FOR THE COUNTRY 

Pride, rootless and fruitless, 

No longer takes and gives: 
But surer and purer 

The soul of England lives. 

He is master and lord of his brothers 

Who is worthier and wiser than they. 
Him only, him surely, shall others, 
Else equal, observe and obey. 
Truth, flawless and awless, 

Do falsehood what it can, 
Makes royal the loyal 

And simple heart of man. 

Who are these, then, that England should hearken, 

Who rage and wax wroth and grow pale 
If she turn from the sunsets that darken 
And her ship for the morning set sail ? 
Let strangers fear dangers: 

All know, that hold her dear, 
Dishonour upon her 

Can only fall through fear. 

Men, born of the landsmen and seamen 

Who served her with souls and with swords, 
She bids you be brothers, and free men, 
And lordless, and fearless of lords. 
She cares not, she dares not 
Care now for gold or steel : 
Light lead her, truth speed her, 
God save the Commonweal! 
109 



A WORD FOR THE NATION 



A WORD across the water 

Against our ears is borne, 
Of threatenings and of slaughter, 

Of rage and spite and scorn: 
We have not, alack, an ally to befriend us, 
And the season is ripe to extirpate and end us: 
Let the German touch hands with the Gaul, 
And the fortress of England must fall; 
And the sea shall be swept of her seamen, 

And the waters they ruled be their graves, 
And Dutchmen and Frenchmen be free men, 
And Englishmen slaves. 



ii 

Our time once more is over, 

Once more our end is near: 
A bull without a drover, 

The Briton reels to rear, 

And the van of the nations is held by his betters, 
And the seas of the world shall be loosed from 

his fetters, 

And his glory shall pass as a breath, 
And the life that is in him be death; 
no 



A WORD FOR THE NATION 

And the sepulchre sealed on his glory 

For a sign to the nations shall be 
As of Tyre and of Carthage in story, 
Once lords of the sea. 

in 

The lips are wise and loyal, 

The hearts are brave and true, 
Imperial thoughts and royal 

Make strong the clamorous crew, 
Whence louder and prouder the noise of defiance 
Rings rage from the grave of a trustless alliance, 
And bids us beware and be warned, 
As abhorred of all nations and scorned, 
As a s wordless and spiritless nation, 

A wreck on the waste of the waves. 
So foams the released indignation 
Of masterless slaves. 

IV 

Brute throats that miss the collar, 

Bowed backs that ask the whip, 
Stretched hands that lack the dollar, 

And many a lie-seared lip, 
Forefeel and foreshow for us signs as funereal 
As the signs that were regal of yore and imperial ; 
We shall pass as the princes they served, 
We shall reap what our fathers deserved, 
And the place that was England's be taken 

By one that is worthier than she, 
And the yoke of her empire be shaken 
Like spray from the sea. 
in 



A WORD FOR THE NATION 



French hounds, whose necks are aching 

Still from the chain they crave, 
In dog-day madness breaking 

The dog-leash, thus may rave: 
But the seas that for ages have fostered and fenced 

her 

Laugh, echoing the yell of their kennel against her 
And their moan if destruction draw near them 
And the roar of her laughter to hear them; 
For she knows that if Englishmen be men 

Their England has all that she craves; 
All love and all honour from free men, 
All hatred from slaves. 



VI 

All love that rests upon her 

Like sunshine and sweet air, 
All light of perfect honour 

And praise that ends in prayer, 
She wins not more surely, she wears not more 

proudly, 

Than the token of tribute that clatters thus loudly, 
The tribute of foes when they meet 
That rattles and rings at her feet, 
The tribute of rage and of rancour, 
The tribute of slaves to the free, 
To the people whose hope hath its anchor 
Made fast in the sea. 
112 



A WORD FOR THE NATION 

VII 

No fool that bows the back he 

Feels fit for scourge or brand, 
No scurril scribes that lackey 

The lords of Lackeyland, 

No penman that yearns, as he turns on his pallet, 
For the place or the pence of a peer or a valet, 
No whelp of as currish a pack 
As the litter whose yelp it gives back, 
Though he answer the cry of his brother 

As echoes might answer from caves, 
Shall be witness as though for a mother 
Whose children were slaves. 



VIII 



But those found fit to love her, 
Whose love has root in faith, 
Who hear, though darkness cover 

Time's face, what memory saith, 
Who seek not the service of great men or small 

men 
But the weal that is common for comfort of all 

men 

Those yet that in trust have beholden 
Truth's dawn over England grow golden 
And quicken the darkness that stagnates 

And scatter the shadows that flee, 
Shall reply for her meanest as magnates 

And masters by sea. 
vi. s 113 



A WORD FOR THE NATION 

IX 

And all shall mark her station, 

Her message all shall hear, 
When, equal-eyed, the nation 

Bids all her sons draw near, 
And freedom be more than tradition or faction, 
And thought be no swifter to serve her than action, 
And justice alone be above her, 
That love may be prouder to love her, 
And time on the crest of her story 

Inscribe, as remembrance engraves, 
The sign that subdues with its glory 
Kings, princes, and slaves. 



A WORD FROM THE PSALMIST 

Ps. xciv. 8 



"TAKE heed, ye unwise among the people: 

O ye fools, when will ye understand?" 
From pulpit or choir beneath the steeple, 
Though the words be fierce, the tones are 

bland. 
But a louder than the Church's echo thunders 

In the ears of men who may not choose but hear ; 
And the heart in him that hears it leaps and wonders, 
With triumphant hope astonished, or with fear. 
For the names whose sound was power awaken 

Neither love nor reverence now nor dread; 
Their strongholds and shrines are stormed and 

taken, 
Their kingdom and all its works are dead. 

ii 

Take heed: for the tide of time is risen: 
It is full not yet, though now so high 

That spirits and hopes long pent in prison 
Feel round them a sense of freedom nigh, 



A WORD FROM THE PSALMIST 

And a savour keen and sweet of brine and billow, 
And a murmur deep and strong of deepening 

strength. 
Though the watchman dream, with sloth or pride for 

pillow, 

And the night be long, not endless is its length. 
From the springs of dawn, from clouds that sever, 
From the equal heavens and the eastward sea, 
The witness comes that endures for ever, 
Till men be brethren and thralls be free. 



in 

But the wind of the wings of dawn expanding 
Strikes chill on your hearts as change and 

death. 

Ye are old, but ye have not understanding; 
And proud, but your pride is a dead man's 

breath. 
And your wise men, toward whose words and signs 

ye hearken, 
And your strong men, in whose hands ye put your 

trust, 
Strain eyes to behold but clouds and dreams that 

darken, 
Stretch hands that can find but weapons red with 

rust. 

Their watchword rings, and the night rejoices, 
But the lark's note laughs at the night-bird's 

notes 

"Is virtue verily found in voices? 
Or is wisdom won when all win votes ? 
116 



A WORD FROM THE PSALMIST 

IV 

"Take heed, ye unwise indeed, who listen 
When the wind's wings beat and shift and 

change ; 

Whose hearts are uplift, whose eyeballs glisten, 

With desire of new things great and strange. 

Let not dreams misguide nor any visions wrong you : 

That which has been, it is now as it was then. 
Is not Compromise of old a god among you ? 
Is not Precedent indeed a king of men ? 

But the windy hopes that lead mislead you, 

And the sounds ye hear are void and vain. 
Is a vote a coat? will franchise feed you, 
Or words be a roof against the rain ? 



"Eight ages are gone since kingship entered, 

With knights and peers at its harnessed back, 
And the land, no more in its own strength cen- 
tred, 

Was cast for a prey to the princely pack. 
But we pared the fangs and clipped the ravening 

claws of it, 
And good was in time brought forth of an evil 

thing, 
And the land's high name waxed lordlier in war 

because of it, 

When chartered Right had bridled and curbed 
the king. 

117 



A WORD FROM THE PSALMIST 

And what so fair has the world beholden, 
And what so firm has withstood the years, 

As Monarchy bound in chains all golden, 
And Freedom guarded about with peers? 

VI 

" How think ye ? know not your lords and mas- 
ters 

What collars are meet for brawling throats? 
Is change not mother of strange disasters ? 
Shall plague or peril be stayed by votes ? 
Out of precedent and privilege and order 

Have we plucked the flower of compromise, whose 

root 
Bears blossoms that shine from border again to 

border, 

And the mouths of many are fed with its tem- 
perate fruit. 

Your masters are wiser than ye, their hench- 
men: 

Your lords know surely whereof ye have need. 
Equality? Fools, would you fain be French- 
men? 
Is equity more than a word indeed ? 

VII 

"Your voices, forsooth, your most sweet voices, 

Your worthy voices, your love your hate, 
Your choice, who knows not whereof your choice 

is, 

What stays are these for a stable state? 
118 



A WORD FROM THE PSALMIST 

Inconstancy, blind and deaf with its own fierce bab- 
ble, 
Swells ever your throats with storm of uncertain 

cheers : 
He leans on straws who leans on a light-souled 

rabble ; 
His trust is frail who puts not his trust in 

peers." 

So shrills the message whose word convinces 
Of righteousness knaves, of wisdom fools; 
That serfs may boast them because of princes, 
And the weak rejoice that the strong man 
rules. 



VIII 

True friends, ye people, are these, the fac- 
tion 
Full-mouthed that flatters and snarls and 

bays, 
That fawns and foams with alternate action, 

And mocks the names that it soils with praise. 
As from fraud and force their power had first begin- 
ning, 

So by righteousness and peace it may not stand, 
But by craft of state and nets of secret spinning, 
Words that weave and unweave wiles like ropes of 

sand, 
Form, custom, and gold, and laws growri hoary, 

And strong tradition that guards the gate: 
To these, O people, to these give glory, 

That your name among nations may be great. 
119 



A WORD FROM THE PSALMIST 

IX 

How long for haply not now much longer 

Shall fear put faith in a faithless creed, 
And shapes and shadows of truths be stronger 
In strong men's eyes than the truth indeed ? 
If freedom be not a word that dies when spoken, 

If justice be not a dream whence men must wake, 
How shall not the bonds of the thraldom of old be 

broken, 
And right put might in the hands of them that 

break ? 
For clear as a tocsin from the steeple 

Is the cry gone forth along the land, 

Take heed, ye unwise among the people: 

O ye fools, when will ye understand ? 



A BALLAD AT PARTING 



SEA to sea that clasps and fosters England, uttering 

evermore 
Song eterne and praise immortal of the indomitable 

shore, 
Lifts aloud her constant heart up, south to north 

and east to west, 

Here in speech that shames all music, there in thun- 
der-throated roar, 
Chiming concord out of discord, waking rapture 

out of rest. 
All her ways are lovely, all her works and symbols 

are divine, 
Yet shall man love best what first bade leap his 

heart and bend his knee; 
Yet where first his whole soul worshipped shall his 

soul set up her shrine: 
Nor may love not know the lovelier, fair as both 

beheld may be, 

Here the limitless north-eastern, there the strait 
south-western sea. 

Though their chant bear all one burden, as ere man 

was born it bore; 
Though the burden be diviner than the songs all 

souls adore; 

121 



A BALLAD AT PARTING 

Yet may love not choose but choose between them 

which to love the best. 
Me the sea my nursing-mother, me the Channel 

green and hoar, 
Holds at heart more fast than all things, bares for 

me the goodlier breast, 
Lifts for me the lordlier love-song, bids for me more 

sunlight shine, 
Sounds for me the stormier trumpet of the sweeter 

strain to me. 
So the broad pale Thames is loved not like the tawny 

springs of Tyne: 
Choice is clear between them for the soul whose 

vision holds in fee 
Here the limitless north-eastern, there the strait 

south-western sea. 



Choice is clear, but dear is either; nor has either not 

in store 

Many a likeness, many a written sign of spirit- 
searching lore, 
Whence the soul takes fire of sweet remembrance, 

magnified and blest. 
Thought of songs whose flame-winged feet have trod 

the unfooted water-floor 
When the lord of all the living lords of souls bade 

speed their quest; 

Soft live sound like children's babble down the rip- 
pling sand's incline, 

Or the lovely song that loves them, hailed with 
thankful prayer and plea; 
122 



A BALLAD AT PARTING 

These are parcels of the harvest here whose gathered 

sheaves are mine, 
Garnered now, but sown and reaped where winds 

make wild with wrath or glee 
Here the limitless north-eastern, there the strait 

south-western sea. 

Song, thy name is freedom, seeing thy strength was 

born of breeze and brine. 
Fare now forth and fear no fortune ; such a seal is 

set on thee. 
Joy begat and memory bare thee, seeing in spirit a 

twofold sign, 
Even the sign of those thy fosters, each as thou 

from all time free, 
Here the limitless north-eastern, there the strait 

south-western sea. 



ASTROPHEL 

AND OTHER POEMS 



TO WILLIAM MORRIS 



ASTROPHEL 

AFTER READING SIR PHILIP SIDNEY'S ARCADIA IN THE 
GARDEN OF AN OLD ENGLISH MANOR HOUSE 



A STAR in the silence that follows 
The song of the death of the sun 

Speaks music in heaven, and the hollows 
And heights of the world are as one; 

One lyre that outsings and outlightens 
The rapture of sunset, and thrills 

Mute night till the sense of it brightens 
The soul that it fills. 

The flowers of the sun that is sunken 
Hang heavy of heart as of head; 

The bees that have eaten and drunken 
The soul of their sweetness are fled; 

But a sunflower of song, on whose honey 
My spirit has fed as a bee, 

Makes sunnier than morning was sunny 
The twilight for me. 

The letters and lines on the pages 

That sundered mine eyes and the flowers 

Wax faint as the shadows of ages 
That sunder their season and ours; 
127 



ASTROPHEL 

As the ghosts of the centuries that sever 

A season of colourless time 
From the days whose remembrance is ever 
As they were, sublime. 

The season that bred and that cherished 
The soul that I commune with yet, 

Had it utterly withered and perished 
To rise not again as it set, 

Shame were it that Englishmen living 
Should read as their forefathers read 

The books of the praise and thanksgiving 
Of Englishmen dead. 

O light of the land that adored thee 
And kindled thy soul with her breath, 

Whose life, such as fate would afford thee, 
Was lovelier than aught but thy death, 

By what name, could thy lovers but know it, 
Might love of thee hail thee afar, 

Philisides, Astrophel, poet 

Whose love was thy star? 

A star in the moondawn of Maytime, 
A star in the cloudland of change; 
Too splendid and sad for the daytime 

To cheer or eclipse or estrange; 
Too sweet for tradition or vision 

To see but through shadows of tears 
Rise deathless across the division 
Of measureless years. 
128 



ASTROPHEL 

The twilight may deepen and harden 
As nightward the stream of it runs 

Till starshine transfigure a garden 

Whose radiance responds to the sun's: 

The light of the love of thee darkens 
The lights that arise and that set: 

The love that forgets thee not hearkens 
If England forget. 



Bright and brief in the sight of grief and love the 

light of thy lifetime shone, 
Seen and felt by the gifts it dealt, the grace it gave, 

and again was gone: 
Ay, but now it is death, not thou, whom time has 

conquered as years pass on. 

Ay, not yet may the land forget that bore and loved 

thee and praised and wept, 
Sidney, lord of the stainless sword, the name of 

names that her heart's love kept 
Fast as thine did her own, a sign to light thy life till 

it sank and slept. 

Bright as then for the souls of men thy brave Arcadia 

resounds and shines, 
Lit with love that beholds above all joys and sorrows 

the steadfast signs, 
Faith, a splendour that hope makes tender, and 

truth, whose presage the soul divines, 
vi. 9 129 



ASTROPHEL 

All the glory that girds the story of all thy life as 

with sunlight round, 
All the spell that on all souls fell who saw thy spirit, 

and held them bound, 
Lives for all that have heard the call and cadence yet 

of its music sound. 

Music bright as the soul of light, for wings an eagle, 
for notes a dove, 

Leaps and shines from the lustrous lines where- 
through thy soul from afar above 

Shone and sang till the darkness rang with light 
whose fire is the fount of love. 

Love that led thee alive, and fed thy soul with 

sorrows and joys and fears, 
Love that sped thee, alive and dead, to fame's fair 

goal with thy peerless peers, 
Feeds the flame of thy quenchless name with light 

that lightens the rayless years. 

Dark as sorrow though night and morrow may lower 

with presage of clouded fame, 
How may she that of old bare thee, may Sidney's 

England, be brought to shame? 
How should this be, while England is ? What need 

of answer bevond thy name? 



in 

From the love that transfigures thy glory, 
From the light of the dawn of thy death, 
130 



ASTROPHEL 

The life of thy song and thy story 
Took subtler and fierier breath. 

And we, though the day and the morrow 
Set fear and thanksgiving at strife, 

Hail yet in the star of thy sorrow 
The sun of thy life. 

Shame and fear may beset men here, and bid thanks- 
giving and pride be dumb: 

Faith, discrowned of her praise, and wound about 
with toils till her life wax numb, 

Scarce may see if the sundawn be, if darkness die 
not and day rise come. 

But England, enmeshed and benetted 

With spiritless villainies round, 
With counsels of cowardice fretted, 

With trammels of treason enwound, 
Is yet, though the season be other 

Than wept and rejoiced over thee, 
Thine England, thy lover, thy mother, 
Sublime as the sea. 

Hers wast thou: if her face be now less bright, or 

seem for an hour less brave, 
Let but thine on her darkness shine, thy saviour 

spirit revive and save, 
Time shall see, as the shadows flee, her shame 

entombed in a shameful grave. 

If death and not life were the portal 
That opens on life at the last, 



ASTROPHEL 

If the spirit of Sidney were mortal 
And the past of it utterly past, 

Fear stronger than honour was ever, 
Forgetfulness mightier than fame, 

Faith knows not if England should never 
Subside into shame. 

Yea, but yet is thy sun not set, thy sunbright spirit 

of trust withdrawn: 
England's love of thee burns above all hopes that 

darken or fears that fawn: 
Hers thou art: and the faithful heart that hopes 

begets upon darkness dawn. 

The sunset that sunrise will follow 
Is less than the dream of a dream: 

The starshine on height and on hollow 
Sheds promise that dawn shall redeem: 

The night, if the daytime would hide it, 
Shows lovelier, aflame and afar, 

Thy soul and thy Stella's beside it, 
A star by a star. 



A NYMPHOLEPT 



SUMMER, and noon, and a splendour of silence, felt, 

Seen, and heard of the spirit within the sense. 
Soft through the frondage the shades of the sun- 
beams melt, 
Sharp through the foliage the shafts of them, keen 

and dense, 
Cleave, as discharged from the string of the God's 

bow, tense 

As a war-steed's girth, and bright as a warrior's belt. 
Ah, why should an hour that is heaven for an hour 
pass hence? 

I dare not sleep for delight of the perfect hour, 
Lest God be wroth that his gift should be scorned 

of man. 
The face of the warm bright world is the face of a 

flower, 
The word of the wind and the leaves that the light 

winds fan 
As the word that quickened at first into flame, and 

ran, 

Creative and subtle and fierce with invasive power, 
Through darkness and cloud, from the breath of 
the one God, Pan. 

i33 



A NYMPHOLEPT 

The perfume of earth possessed by the sun pervades 
The chaster air that he soothes but with sense of 

sleep. 
Soft, imminent, strong as desire that prevails and 

fades, 

The passing noon that beholds not a cloudlet weep 
Imbues and impregnates life with delight more 

deep 

Than dawn or sunset or moonrise on lawns or glades 
Can shed from the skies that receive it and may 

not keep. 

. 

The skies may hold not the splendour of sundown 

fast; 

It wanes into twilight as dawn lies down into day. 

And the moon, triumphant when twilight is overpast, 

Takes pride but awhile in the hours of her stately 

sway. 
But the might of the noon, though the light of it 

pass away, 
Leaves earth fulfilled of desires and of dreams that 

last; 

But if any there be that hath sense of them none 
can say. 

For if any there be triat hath sight of them, sense, or 

trust 
Made strong by the might of a vision, the strength 

of a dream, 

His lips shall straiten and close as a dead man's must, 
His heart shall be sealed as the voice of a frost- 
bound stream. 



A NYMPHOLEPT 

For the deep mid mystery of light and of heat that 

seem 

To clasp and pierce dark earth, and enkindle dust, 
Shall a man's faith say what it is? or a man's 

guess deem? 

Sleep lies not heavier on eyes that have watched all 

night 
Than hangs the heat of the noon on the hills and 

trees. 
Why now should the haze not open, and yield to 

sight 

A fairer secret than hope or than slumber sees? 
I seek not heaven with submission of lips and 

knees, 
With worship and prayer for a sign till it leap to 

light: 
I gaze on the gods about me, and call on these. 

I call on the gods hard by, the divine dim pow- 
ers 
Whose likeness is here at hand, in the breathless 

air, 

In the pulseless peace of the fervid and silent flow- 
ers, 
In the faint sweet speech of the waters that 

whisper there. 

Ah, what should darkness do in a world so fair? 
The bent-grass heaves not, the couch-grass quails 

not or cowers; 

The wind's kiss frets not the rowan's or aspen's 
hair. 

135 



A NYMPHOLEPT 

But the silence trembles with passion of sound sup- 
pressed, 

And the twilight quivers and yearns to the sun- 
ward, wrung 

With love as with pain; and the wide wood's mo- 
tionless breast 
Is thrilled with a dumb desire that would fain find 

tongue 

And palpitates, tongueless as she whom a man- 
snake stung, 
Whose heart now heaves in the nightingale, never at 

rest 
Nor satiated ever with song till her last be sung. 

Is it rapture or terror that circles me round, and 

invades 

Each vein of my life with hope if it be not fear ? 
Each pulse that awakens my blood into rapture 

fades, 
Each pulse that subsides into dread of a strange 

thing near 
Requickens with sense of a terror less dread than 

dear. 

Is peace not one with light in the deep green glades 
Where summer at noonday slumbers? Is peace 
not here? 

The tall thin stems of the firs, and the roof sublime 
That screens from the sun the floor of the steep 
still wood, 

Deep, silent, splendid, and perfect and calm as time, 
Stand fast as ever in sight of the night they stood, 

136 



A NYMPHOLEPT 

When night gave all that moonlight and dewfall 

could. 
The dense ferns deepen, the moss glows warm as the 

thyme : 
The wild heath quivers about me: the world is 

good. 

Is it Pan's breath, fierce in the tremulous maiden- 
hair, 

That bids fear creep as a snake through the wood- 
lands, felt 
In the leaves that it stirs not yet, in the mute bright 

air, 
In the stress of the sun ? For here has the great 

God dwelt: 
For hence were the shafts of his love or his anger 

dealt. 

For here has his wrath been fierce as his love was fair, 
When each was as fire to the darkness its breath 
bade melt. 

Is it love, is it dread, that enkindles the trembling 

noon, 

That yearns, reluctant in rapture that fear has fed, 

As man for woman, as woman for man ? Full soon, 

If I live, and the life that may look on him drop 

not dead, 
Shall the ear that hears not a leaf quake hear his 

tread, 
The sense that knows not the sound of the deep day's 

tune 

Receive the God, be it love that he brings or dread. 
137 



A NYMPHOLEPT 

The naked noon is upon me: the fierce dumb spell, 
The fearful charm of the strong sun's imminent 

might, 

Unmerciful, steadfast, deeper than seas that swell, 
Pervades, invades, appals me with loveless light, 
With harsher awe than breathes in the breath of 

night. 

Have mercy, God who art all! For I know thee well, 
How sharp is thine eye to lighten, thine hand to 
smite. 

The whole wood feels thee, the whole air fears thee : 

but fear 

So deep, so dim, so sacred, is wellnigh sweet. 
For the light that hangs and broods on the wood- 
lands here, 

Intense, invasive, intolerant, imperious, and meet 
To lighten the works of thine hands and the ways 

of thy feet, 
Is hot with the fire of the breath of thy life, and 

dear 

As hope that shrivels or shrinks not for frost or 
heat. 

Thee, thee the supreme dim godhead, approved afar, 
Perceived of the soul and conceived of the sense of 

man, 
We scarce dare love, and we dare not fear: the 

star 

We call the sun, that lit us when life began 
To brood on the world that is thine by his grace 
for a span, 



A NYMPHOLEPT 

Conceals and reveals in the semblance of things that 

are 

Thine immanent presence, the pulse of thy heart's 
life, Pan. 

The fierce mid noon that wakens and warms the 

snake 

Conceals thy mercy, reveals thy wrath: and again 
The dew-bright hour that assuages the twilight 

brake 

Conceals thy wrath and reveals thy mercy: then 
Thou art fearful only for evil souls of men 
That feel with nightfall the serpent within them 

wake, . 
And hate the holy darkness on glade and glen. 

Yea, then we know not and dream not if ill things be, 
Or if aught of the work of the wrong of the world 

be thine. 
We hear not the footfall of terror that treads the 

sea, 
We hear not the moan of winds that assail the 

pine : 
We see not if shipwreck reign in the storm's dim 

shrine ; 

If death do service and doom bear witness to thee 
We see not, know not if blood for thy lips be 
wine. 

But in all things evil and fearful that fear may 

scan, 

As in all things good, as in all things fair that fall, 
139 



A NYMPHOLEPT 

We know thee present and latent, the lord of man; 
In the murmuring of doves, in the clamouring of 

winds that call 

And wolves that howl for their prey; in the mid- 
night's pall, 

In the naked and nymph-like feet of the dawn, O Pan, 
And in each life living, O thou the God who art all. 

Smiling and singing, wailing and wringing of hands, 

Laughing and weeping, watching and sleeping, still 

Proclaim but and prove but thee, as the shifted sands 

Speak forth and show but the strength of the sea's 

wild will 

That sifts and grinds them as grain in the storm- 
wind's mill. 
In thee is the doom that falls and the doom that 

stands : 
The tempests utter thy word, and the stars fulfil. 

Where Etna shudders with passion and pain volcanic 
That rend her heart as with anguish that rends a 

man's, 
Where Typho labours, and finds not his thews 

Titanic, 
In breathless torment that ever the flame's breath 

fans, 
Men felt and feared thee of old, whose pastoral 

clans 
Were given to the charge of thy keeping; and 

soundless panic 

Held fast the woodland whose depths and whose 
heights were Pan's. 
140 



A NYMPHOLEPT 

And here, though fear be less tlian delight, and awe 
Be one with desire and with worship of earth and 

thee, 

So mild seems now thy secret and speechless law, 
So fair and fearless and faithful and godlike she, 
So soft the spell of thy whisper on stream and sea, 
Yet man should fear lest he see what of old men 

saw 

And withered : yet shall I quail if thy breath smite 
me. 

Lord God of life and of light and of all things fair, 

Lord God of ravin and ruin and all things dim, 
Death seals up life, and darkness the sunbright air, 
And the stars that watch blind earth in the deep 

night swim 
Laugh, saying, "What God is your God, that ye 

call on him ? 
What is man, that the God who is guide of our way 

should care 
If day for a man be golden, or night be grim?" 

But thou, dost thou hear ? Stars too but abide for a 

span, 
Gods too but endure for a season; but thou, if 

thou be 
God, more than shadows conceived and adored of 

man, 
Kind Gods and fierce, that bound him or made him 

free, 

The skies that scorn us are less in thy sight than 
we, 

141 



A NYMPHOLEPT 

Whose souls have strength to conceive and perceive 

thee, Pan, 

With sense more subtle than senses that hear and 
see. 

Yet may not it say, though it seek thee and think to 

find 
One soul of sense in the fire and the frost-bound 

clod, 

What heart is this, what spirit alive or blind, 
That moves thee : only we know that the ways we 

trod 

We tread, with hands unguided, with feet unshod, 
With eyes unlightened; and yet, if with steadfast 

mind, 

Perchance may we find thee and know thee at last 
for God. 

Yet then should God be dark as the dawn is bright, 
And bright as the night is dark on the world no 

more. 
Light slays not darkness, and darkness absorbs not 

light; 
And the labour of evil and good from the years of 

yore 

Is even as the labour of waves on a sunless shore. 
And he who is first and last, who is depth and height, 
Keeps silence now, as the sun when the woods 
wax hoar. 

The dark dumb godhead innate in the fair world's life 
Imbues the rapture of dawn and of noon with dread, 
142 



A NYMPHOLEPT 

Infects the peace of the star-shod night with strife, 
Informs with terror the sorrow that guards the 

dead. 

No service of bended knee or of humbled head 
May soothe or subdue the God who has change to 

wife : 

And life with death is as morning with evening 
wed. 

And yet, if the light and the life in the light that here 
Seem soft and splendid and fervid as sleep may 

seem 
Be more than the shine of a smile or the flash of a 

tear, 

Sleep, change, and death are less than a spell- 
struck dream, 

And fear than the fall of a leaf on a starlit stream. 
And yet, if the hope that hath said it absorb not fear, 
What helps it man that the stars and the waters 
gleam ? 

What helps it man, that the noon be indeed intense, 
The night be indeed worth worship? Fear and 

pain 

Were lords and masters yet of the secret sense, 
Which now dares deem not that light is as dark- 
ness, fain 

Though dark dreams be to declare it, crying in vain. 
For whence, thou God of the light and the darkness, 

whence 

Dawns now this vision that bids not the sunbeams 
wane? 

143 



A NYMPHOLEPT 

What light, what shadow, diviner than dawn or night, 
Draws near, makes pause, and again or I dream 

draws near? 
More soft than shadow, more strong than the strong 

sun's light, 
More pure than moonbeams yea, but the rays 

run sheer 

As fire from the sun through the dusk of the pine- 
wood, clear 

And constant; yea, but the shadow itself is bright 
That the light clothes round with love that is one 
with fear. 

Above and behind it the noon and the woodland lie, 
Terrible, radiant with mystery, superb and sub- 
dued, 

Triumphant in silence; and hardly the sacred sky 
Seems free from the tyrannous weight of the dumb 

fierce mood 
Which rules as with fire and invasion of beams 

that brood 

The breathless rapture of earth till its hour pass by 
And leave her spirit released and her peace re- 
newed. 

I sleep not: never in sleep has a man beholden 
This. From the shadow that trembles and yearns 

with light 
Suppressed and elate and reluctant obscure and 

golden 

As water kindled with presage of dawn or night 
A form, a face, a wonder to sense and sight, 
144 






A NYMPHOLEPT 

Grows great as the moon through the month; and 

her eyes embolden 

Fear, till it change to desire, and desire to de- 
light. 

I sleep not: sleep would die of a dream so strange; 
A dream so sweet would die as a rainbow 

dies, 
As a sunbow laughs and is lost on the waves that 

range 
And reck not of light that flickers or spray that 

flies. 
But the sun withdraws not, the woodland shrinks 

not or sighs, 
No sweet thing sickens with sense or with fear of 

change ; 

Light wounds not, darkness blinds not, my stead- 
fast eyes. 

Only the soul in my sense that receives the soul 
Whence now my spirit is kindled with breathless 

bliss 
Knows well if the light that wounds it with love 

makes whole, 
If hopes that carol be louder than fears that 

hiss, 
If truth be spoken of flowers and of waves that 

kiss, 
Of clouds and stars that contend for a sunbright 

goal. 

And yet may I dream that I dream not indeed of 
this? 

VI. 10 145 



A NYMPHOLEPT 

An earth-born dreamer, constrained by the bonds of 

birth, 
Held fast by the flesh, compelled by his veins that 

beat 
And kindle to rapture or wrath, to desire or to 

mirth, 

May hear not surely the fall of immortal feet, 
May feel not surely if heaven upon earth be 

sweet ; 

And here is my sense fulfilled of the joys of earth, 
Light, silence, bloom, shade, murmur of leaves 
that meet. 

Bloom, fervour, and perfume of grasses and flowers 

aglow, 
Breathe and brighten about me: the darkness 

gleams, 
The sweet light shivers and laughs on the slopes 

below, 
Made soft by leaves that lighten and change like 

dreams ; 
The silence thrills with the whisper of secret 

streams 
That well from the heart of the woodland: these I 

know : 

Earth bore them, heaven sustained them with 
showers and beams. 

I lean my face to the heather, and drink the 

sun 

Whose flame-lit odour satiates the flowers: mine 
eyes 



A NYMPHOLEPT 

Close, and the goal of delight and of life is one: 
No more I crave of earth or her kindred skies. 
No more? But the joy that springs from them 

smiles and flies: 
The sweet work wrought of them surely, the good 

work done, 

If the mind and the face of the season be loveless, 
dies. 

Thee, therefore, thee would I come to, cleave to, cling, 

If haply thy heart be kind and thy gifts be good, 

Unknown sweet spirit, whose vesture is soft in spring, 

In summer splendid, in autumn pale as the wood 

That shudders and wanes and shrinks as a shamed 

thing should, 

In winter bright as the mail of a war-worn king 
Who stands where foes fled far from the face of 
him stood. 

My spirit or thine is it, breath of thy life or of mine, 
Which fills my sense with a rapture that casts out 

fear ? 
Pan's dim frown wanes, and his wild eyes brighten 

as thine, 
Transformed as night or as day by the kindling 

year. 
Earth-born, or mine eye were withered that sees, 

mine ear 

That hears were stricken to death by the sense di- 
vine, 

Earth-born I know thee : but heaven is about me 
here. 

M7 



A NYMPHOLEPT 

The terror that whispers in darkness and flames in 

light, 
The doubt that speaks in the silence of earth and 

sea, 
The sense, more fearful at noon than in midmost 

night, 

Of wrath scarce hushed and of imminent ill to be, 
Where are they? Heaven is as earth, and as 

heaven to me 
Earth: for the shadows that sundered them here 

take flight; 
And nought is all, as am I, but a dream of thee. 



ON THE SOUTH COAST 
To THEODORE WATTS 



HILLS and valleys where April rallies his radiant 
squadron of flowers and birds, 

Steep strange beaches and lustrous reaches of fluctu- 
ant sea that the land engirds, 

Fields and downs that the sunrise crowns with life 
diviner than lives in words, 

Day by day of resurgent May salute the sun with 

sublime acclaim, 
Change and brighten with hours that lighten and 

darken, girdled with cloud or flame; 
Earth's fair face in alternate grace beams, blooms, 

and lowers, and is yet the same. 

Twice each day the divine sea's play makes glad with 

glory that comes and goes 
Field and street that her waves keep sweet, when 

past the bounds of their old repose, 
Fast and fierce in renewed reverse, the foam-flecked 

estuary ebbs and flows. 
149 



ON THE SOUTH COAST 

Broad and bold through the stays of old staked fast 

with trunks of the wild wood tree, 
Up from shoreward, impelled far forward, by marsh 

and meadow, by lawn and lea, 
Inland still at her own wild will swells, rolls, and 

revels the surging sea. 

Strong as time, and as faith sublime, clothed round 

with shadows of hopes and fears, 
Nights and morrows, and joys and sorrows, alive 

with passion of prayers and tears, 
Stands the shrine that has seen decline eight hundred 

waxing and waning years. 

Tower set square to the storms of air and change of 

season that glooms and glows, 
Wall and roof of it tempest-proof, and equal ever to 

suns and snows, 
Bright with riches of radiant niches and pillars 

smooth as a straight stem grows. 

Aisle and nave that the whelming wave of time has 
whelmed not or touched or neared, 

Arch and vault without stain or fault, by hands of 
craftsmen we know not reared, 

Time beheld them, and time was quelled; and 
change passed by them as one that feared. 

Time that flies as a dream, and dies as dreams that 

die with the sleep they feed, 
Here alone in a garb 'of stone incarnate stands as a 

god indeed, 
Stern and fair, and of strength to bear all burdens 

mortal to man's frail seed. 
150 



ON THE SOUTH COAST 

Men and years are as leaves or tears that storm or 

sorrow is fain to shed : 
These go by as the winds that sigh, and none takes 

note of them quick or dead: 
Time, whose breath is their birth and death, folds 

here his pinions, and bows his head. 

Still the sun that beheld begun the work wrought 

here of unwearied hands 
Sees, as then, though the Red King's men held 

ruthless rule over lawless lands, 
Stand their massive design, impassive, pure and 

proud as a virgin stands. 

Statelier still as the years fulfil their count, subserv- 
ing her sacred state, 

Grows the hoary grey church whose story silence 
utters and age makes great: 

Statelier seems it than shines in dreams the face un- 
veiled of unvanquished fate. 

Fate, more high than the star-shown sky, more deep 

than waters unsounded, shines 
Keen and far as the final star on souls that seek not 

for charms or signs; 
Yet more bright is the love-shown light of men's 

hands lighted in songs or shrines. 

Love and trust that the grave's deep dust can soil 

not, neither may fear put out, 
Witness yet that their record set stands fast, though 

years be as hosts in rout, 
Spent and slain; but the signs remain that beat 

back darkness and cast forth doubt. 



ON THE SOUTH COAST 

Men that wrought by the grace of thought and toil 
things goodlier than praise dare trace, 

Fair as all that the world may call most fair, save 
only the sea's own face, 

Shrines or songs that the world's change wrongs not, 
live by grace of their own gift's grace. 

Dead, their names that the night reclaims alive, 

their works that the day relumes 
Sink and stand, as in stone and sand engraven: none 

may behold their tombs: 
Nights and days shall record their praise while here 

this flower of their grafting blooms. 

Flower more fair than the sun-thrilled air bids laugh 

and lighten and wax and rise, 
Fruit more bright than the fervent light sustains 

with strength from the kindled skies, 
Flower and fruit that the deathless root of man's 

love rears though the man's name dies. 

Stately stands it, the work of hands unknown of: 

statelier, afar and near, 
Rise around it the heights that bound our landward 

gaze from the seaboard here; 
Downs that swerve and aspire, in curve and change 

of heights that the dawn holds dear. 

Dawn falls fair on the grey walls there confronting 

dawn, on the low green lea, 
Lone and sweet as for fairies' feet held sacred, silent 

and strange and free, 
Wild and wet with its rills; but yet more fair falls 

dawn on the fairer sea. 
152 



ON THE SOUTH COAST 

Eastward, round by the high green bound of hills 

that fold the remote fields in, 
Strive and shine on the low sea-line fleet waves and 

beams when the days begin; 
Westward glow, when the days burn low, the sun 

that yields and the stars that win. 

Rose-red eve on the seas that heave sinks fair as 

dawn when the first ray peers; 
Winds are glancing from sunbright Lancing to 

Shoreham, crowned with the grace of years; 
Shoreham, clad with the sunset, glad and grave with 

glory that death, reveres. 

Death, more proud than the kings' heads bowed 
before him, stronger than all things, bows 

Here his head: as if death were dead, and kingship 
plucked from his crownless brows, 

Life hath here such a face of cheer as change appals 
not and time avows. 

Skies fulfilled with the sundown, stilled and splendid, 

spread as a flower that spreads, 
Pave with rarer device and fairer than heaven's the 

luminous oyster-beds, 
Grass-embanked, and in square plots ranked, inlaid 

with gems that the sundown sheds. 

Squares more bright and with lovelier light than 
heaven that kindled it shines with shine 

Warm and soft as the dome aloft, but heavenlier yet 
than the sun's own shrine: 

Heaven is high, but the water-sky lit here seems 
deeper and more divine. 



ON THE SOUTH COAST 

Flowers on flowers, that the whole world's bowers 
may show not, here may the sunset show, 

Lightly graven in the waters paven with ghostly gold 
by the clouds aglow: 

Bright as love is the vault above, but lovelier lightens 
the wave below. 

Rosy grey, or as fiery spray full-plumed, or greener 

than emerald, gleams 
Plot by plot as the skies allot for each its glory, 

divine as dreams 
Lit with fire of appeased desire which sounds the 

secret of all that seems; 

Dreams that show what we fain would know, and 
know not save by the grace of sleep, 

Sleep whose hands have removed the bands that eye 
long waking and fain to weep 

Feel fast bound on them light around them strange, 
and darkness above them steep. 

Yet no vision that heals division of love from love, 

and renews awhile 
Life and breath in the lips where death has quenched 

the spirit of speech and smile, 
Shows on earth, or in heaven's mid mirth, where no 

fears enter or doubts defile, 

Aught more fair than the radiant air and water here 

by the -(Twilight wed, 
Here made one by the waning sun whose last love 

quickens to rosebright red 
Half the crown of the soft high down that rears to 

northward its wood-girt head. 



ON THE SOUTH COAST 

There, when day is at height of sway, men's eyes 

who stand, as we oft have stood, 
High where towers with its world of flowers the 

golden spinny that flanks the wood, 
See before and around them shore and seaboard glad 

as their gifts are good. 

Higher and higher to the north aspire the green 

smooth-swelling unending downs ; 
East and west on the brave earth's breast glow 

girdle-jewels of gleaming towns ; 
Southward shining, the lands declining subside in 

peace that the sea's light crowns. 

Westward wide in its fruitful pride the plain lies 

lordly with plenteous grace; 
Fair as dawn's when the fields and lawns desire her 

glitters the glad land's face: 
Eastward yet is the sole sign set of elder days 

and a lordlier race. 

Down beneath us afar, where seethe in wilder weath- 
er the tides aflow, 

Hurled up hither and drawn down thither in quest of 
rest that they may not know, 

Still as dew on a flower the blue broad stream now 
sleeps in the fields below. 

Mild and bland in the fair green land it smiles, and 

takes to its heart the sky; 
Scarce the meads and the fens, the reeds and grasses, 

still as they stand or lie, 
Wear the palm of a statelier calm than rests on 

waters that pass them by. 

I 55 



ON THE SOUTH COAST 

Yet shall these, when the winds and seas of equal 

days and coequal nights 
Rage, rejoice, and uplift a voice whose sound is even 

as a sword that smites, 
Felt and heard as a doomsman's word from seaward 

reaches to landward heights, 

Lift their heart up, and take their part of triumph, 

swollen and strong with rage, 
Rage elate with desire and great with pride that 

tempest and storm assuage; 
So their chime in the ear of time has rung from age 

to rekindled age. 

Fair and dear is the land's face here, and fair man's 

work as a man's may be: 
Dear and fair as the sunbright air is here the record 

that speaks him free; 
Free by birth of a sacred earth, and regent ever of all 

the sea. 



AN AUTUMN VISION 
OCTOBER 31, 1889 

ZeQvpov yiyavTog avpct 



Is it Midsummer here in the heavens that illumine 

October on earth ? 
Can the year, when his heart is fulfilled with desire 

of the days of his mirth, 
Redeem them, recall, or remember? 
For a memory recalling the rapture of earth, and 

redeeming the sky, 
Shines down from the heights to the depths : will the 

watchword of dawn be July 
When to-morrow acclaims November? 
The stern salutation of sorrow to death or repentance 

to shame 
Was all that the season was wont to accord her of 

grace or acclaim; 

No lightnings of love and of laughter. 
But here, in the laugh of the loud west wind from 

around and above, 
In the flash of the waters beneath him, what sound 

or what light but of love 
Rings round him or leaps forth after? 



AN AUTUMN VISION 



Wind beloved of earth and sky and sea beyond all 

winds that blow, 
Wind whose might in fight was England's on her 

mightiest warrior day, 
South-west wind, whose breath for her was life, and 

fire to scourge her foe, 
Steel to smite and death to drive him down an 

unreturning way, 
Well -beloved and welcome, sounding all the clarions 

of the sky, 
Rolling all the marshalled waters toward the 

charge that storms the shore, 
We receive, acclaim, salute thee, we who live and 

dream and die, 
As the mightiest mouth of song that ever spake 

acclaimed of yore. 
We that live as they that perish praise thee, lord of 

cloud and wave, 
Wind of winds, clothed on with darkness whence 

as lightning light comes forth, 
We that know thee strong to guard and smite, to 

scatter and to save, 
We to whom the south-west wind is dear as Athens 

held the north. 
He for her waged war as thou for us against all 

powers defiant, 

Fleets full-fraught with storm from Persia, laden 
deep with death from Spain: 

1*8 



AN AUTUMN VISION 

Thee the giant god of song and battle hailed as god 

and giant, 
Yet not his but ours the land is whence thy praise 

should ring and rain; 
Rain as rapture shed from song, and ring as trumpets 

blown for battle, 
Sound and sing before thee, loud and glad as leaps 

and sinks the sea: 
Yea, the sea's white steeds are curbed and spurred 

of thee, and pent as cattle, 

Yet they laugh with love and pride to live, sub- 
dued not save of thee. 
Ears that hear thee hear in heaven the sound of 

widening wings gigantic, 
Eyes that see the cloud-lift westward see thy 

darkening brows divine; 
Wings whose measure is the limit of the limitless 

Atlantic, 

Brows that bend, and bid the sovereign sea sub- 
mit her soul to thine. 



in 

Twelve days since is it twelve days gone, 
Lord of storm, that a storm-bow shone 
Higher than sweeps thy sublime dark wing, 
Fair as dawn is and sweet like spring? 

Never dawn in the deep wide east 
Spread so splendid and strange a feast, 
Whence the soul as it drank and fed 
Felt such rapture of wonder shed. 



AN AUTUMN VISION 

Never spring in the wild wood's heart 
Felt such flowers at her footfall start, 
Born of earth, as arose on sight 
Born of heaven and of storm and light. 

Stern and sullen, the grey grim sea 
Swelled and strove as in toils, though free, 
Free as heaven, and as heaven sublime, 
Clear as heaven of the toils of time. 



iv 

Suddenly, sheer from the heights to the depths of the 

sky and the sea, 
Sprang from the darkness alive as a vision of life 

to be 
Glory triune and transcendent of colour afar and 

afire, 
Arching and darkening the darkness with light as of 

dream or desire. 
Heaven, in the depth of its height, shone wistful and 

wan from above: 
Earth from beneath, and the sea, shone stricken and 

breathless with love. 
As a shadow may shine, so shone they; as ghosts of 

the viewless blest, 

That sleep hath sight of alive in a rapture of sun- 
bright rest, 
The green earth glowed and the grey sky gleamed 

for a wondrous while; 
And the storm's full frown was crossed by the light 

of its own deep smile. 
1 60 



AN AUTUMN VISION 

As the darkness of thought and of passion is touched 

by the light that gives 
Life deathless as love from the depth of a spirit that 

sees and lives, 
From the soul of a seer and a singer, wherein as a 

scroll unfurled 
Lies open the scripture of light and of darkness, the 

word of the world, 
So, shapeless and measureless, lurid as anguish and 

haggard as crime, 
Pale as the front of oblivion and dark as the heart of 

time, 
The wild wan heaven at its height was assailed and 

subdued and made 
More fair than the skies that know not of storm and 

endure not shade. 
The grim sea-swell, grey, sleepless, and sad as a soul 

estranged, 
Shone, smiled, took heart, and was glad of its wrath: 

and the world's face changed. 



Up from moorlands northward gleaming 
Even to heaven's transcendent height, 

Clothed with massive cloud, and seeming 
All one fortress reared of night, 

Down to where the deep sea dreaming 
Angry dreams, lay dark and white, 

White as death and dark as fate, 

Heaving with the strong wind's weight, 

Sad with stormy pride of state, 

One full rainbow shone elate. 

n ii l6l 



AN AUTUMN VISION 

Up from inmost memory's dwelling 

Where the light of life abides, 
Where the past finds tongue, foretelling 

Time that comes and grace that guides, 
Power that saves and sways, compelling 

Souls that ebb and flow like tides, 
Shone or seemed to shine and swim 
Through the cloud-surf great and grim, 
Thought's live surge, the soul of him 
By whose light the sun looks dim. 

In what synod were they sitting, 

All the gods and lords of time, 
Whence they watched as fen-fires flitting 

Years and names of men sublime, 
When their counsels found it fitting 

One should stand where none might climb 
None of man begotten, none 
Born of men beneath the sun 
Till the race of time be- run, 
Save this heaven-enfranchised one? 

With what rapture of creation 

Was the soul supernal thrilled, 
With what pride of adoration 

Was the world's heart fired and filled, 
Heaved in heavenward exaltation 

Higher than hopes or dreams might build, 
Grave with awe not known while he 
Was not, mad with glorious glee 
As the sun-saluted sea, 
When his hour bade Shakespeare be? 
162 



AN AUTUMN VISION 

VI 

There, clear as night beholds her crowning seven, 
The sea beheld his likeness set in heaven. 
The shadow of his spirit full in sight 
Shone: for the shadow of that soul is light. 
Nor heaven alone bore witness: earth avowed 
Him present, and acclaimed of storm aloud. 
From the arching sky to the ageless hills and sea 
The whole world, visible, audible, was he: 
Each part of all that wove that wondrous whole 
The raiment of the presence of his soul. 
The sun that smote and kissed the dark to death 
Spake, smiled, and strove, like song's triumphant 

breath ; 
The soundless cloud whose thunderous heart was 

dumb 
Swelled, lowered, and shrank to feel its conqueror 

come. 

Yet high from heaven its empire vast and vain 
Frowned, and renounced not night's reluctant 

reign. 

The serpentine swift sounds and shapes wherein 
The stainless sea mocks earth and death and sin, 
Crawls dark as craft, or flashes keen as hate, 
Subdued and insubmissive, strong like fate 
And weak like man, bore wrathful witness yet 
That storms and sins are more than suns that set ; 
That evil everlasting, girt for strife 
Eternal, wars with hope as death with life. 
The dark sharp shifting wind that bade the waves 
Falter, lose heart, bow down like foes made slaves, 

163 



AN AUTUMN VISION 

And waxed within more bitter as they bowed, 
Baffling the sea, swallowing the sun with cloud, 
Devouring fast as fire on earth devours 
And hungering hard as frost that feeds on flowers, 
Clothed round with fog that reeked as fume from 

hell, 

And darkening with its miscreative spell 
Light, glad and keen and splendid as the sword 
Whose heft had known Othello's hand its lord, 
Spake all the soul that hell drew back to greet 
And felt its fire shrink shuddering from his feet. 
Far off the darkness darkened, and recoiled, 
And neared again, and triumphed: and the coiled 
Colourless cloud and sea discoloured grew 
Conscious of horror huge as heaven, and knew 
Where Gonerirs soul made chill and foul the mist, 
And all the leprous life in Regan hissed. 
Fierce homeless ghosts, rejected of the pit, 
From hell to hell of storm fear watched them 

flit. 

About them and before, the dull grey gloom 
Shuddered, and heaven seemed hateful as the tomb 
That shrinks from resurrection; and from out 
That sullen hell which girt their shades about 
The nether soul that lurks and lowers within 
Man, made of dust and fire and shame and sin, 
Breathed: all the cloud that felt it breathe and 

blight 

Was blue as plague or black as thunderous night. 
Elect of hell, the children of his hate 
Thronged, as to storm sweet heaven's triumphal 

gate. 

164 



AN AUTUMN VISION 

The terror of his giving rose and shone 

Imminent: life had put its likeness on. 

But higher than all its horrent height of shade 

Shone sovereign, seen by light itself had made, 

Above the woes of all the world, above 

Life, sin, and death, his myriad-minded love. 

From landward heights whereon the radiance 

leant 

Full-fraught from heaven, intense and imminent, 
To depths wherein the seething strengths of cloud 
Scarce matched the wrath of waves whereon they 

bowed, 

From homeborn pride and kindling love of home 
To the outer skies and seas of fire and foam, 
From splendour soft as dew that sundawn thrills 
To gloom that shudders round the world it fills, 
From midnights murmuring round Titania's ear 
To midnights maddening round the rage of Lear, 
The wonder woven of storm and sun became 
One with the light that lightens from his name. 
The music moving on the sea that felt 
The storm-wind even as snows of springtide melt 
Was blithe as Ariel's hand or voice might make 
And bid all grief die gladly for its sake. 
And there the soul alive in ear and eye 
That watched the wonders of an hour pass by 
Saw brighter than all stars that heaven inspheres 
The silent splendour of Cordelia's tears, 
Felt in the whispers of the quickening wind 
The radiance of the laugh of Rosalind, 
And heard, in sounds that melt the souls of men 
With love of love, the tune of Imogen. 

165 



AN AUTUMN VISION 



VII 

For the strong north-east is not strong to subdue 

and to slay the divine south-west, 
And the darkness is less than the light that it 

darkens, and dies in reluctant rest. 
It hovers and hangs on the labouring and trembling 

ascent of the dawn from the deep, 
Till the sun's eye quicken the world and the waters, 

and smite it again into sleep. 
Night, holy and starry, the fostress of souls, with the 

fragrance of heaven in her breath, 
Subdues with the sense of her godhead the forces and 

mysteries of sorrow and death. 
Eternal as dawn's is the comfort she gives: but the 

mist that beleaguers and slays 
Comes, passes, and is not: the strength of it withers, 

appalled or assuaged by the day's. 
Faith, haggard as Fear that had borne her, and dark 

as the sire that begat her, Despair, 
Held rule on the soul of the world and the song of it 

saddening through ages that were; 
Dim centuries that darkened and brightened and 

darkened again, and the soul of their song 
Was great as their grief, and sublime as their 

suffering, and strong as their sorrows were 

strong. 
It knew not, it saw not, but shadows triune, and 

evoked by the strength of their spell 
Dark hell, and the mountain of anguish, and heaven 

that was hollower and harder than hell. 
166 



AN AUTUMN VISION 

These are not: the womb of the darkness that bare 

them rejects them, and knows them no more: 
Thought, fettered in misery and iron, revives in the 

light that it lived in of yore. 
For the soul that is wisdom and freedom, the spirit 

of England redeemed from her past, 
Speaks life through the lips of the master and lord 

of her children, the first and the last. 
Thought, touched by his hand and redeemed by his 

breath, sees, hears, and accepts from above 
The limitless lightnings of vision and passion, the 

measureless music of love. 



A SWIMMER'S DREAM 

NOVEMBER 4, 1889 
Somno mollior unda 



DAWN is dim on the dark soft water, 

Soft and passionate, dark and sweet. 
Love's own self was the deep sea's daughter, 

Fair and flawless from face to feet, 
Hailed of all when the world was golden, 
Loved of lovers whose names beholden 
Thrill men's eyes as with light of olden 
Days more glad than their flight was fleet. 

So they sang: but for men that love her, 

Souls that hear not her word in vain, 
Earth beside her and heaven above her 

Seem but shadows that wax and wane. 
Softer than sleep's are the sea's caresses, 
Kinder than love's that betrays and blesses, 
Blither than spring's when her flowerful tresses 
Shake forth sunlight and shine with rain. 
168 



A SWIMMER'S DREAM 

All the strength of the waves that perish 
Swells beneath me and laughs and sighs, 

Sighs for love of the life they cherish, 
Laughs to know that it lives and dies, 

Dies for joy of its life, and lives 

Thrilled with joy that its brief death gives 

Death whose laugh or whose breath forgives 
Change that bids it subside and rise. 

ii 

Hard and heavy, remote but nearing, 
Sunless hangs the severe sky's weight, 

Cloud on cloud, though the wind be veering 
Heaped on high to the sundawn's gate. 

Dawn and even and noon are one, 

Veiled with vapour and void of sun; 

Nought in sight or in fancied hearing 
Now less mighty than time or fate. 

The grey sky gleams and the grey seas glimmer, 
Pale and sweet as a dream's delight, 

As a dream's where darkness and light seem dimmer, 
Touched by dawn or subdued by night. 

The dark wind, stern and sublime and sad, 

Swings the rollers to westward, clad 

With lustrous shadow that lures the swimmer, 
Lures and lulls him with dreams of light. 

Light, and sleep, and delight, and wonder, 
Change, and rest, and a charm of cloud, 

Fill the world of the skies whereunder 
Heaves and quivers and pants aloud 
169 



A SWIMMER'S DREAM 

All the world of the waters, hoary 
Now, but clothed with its own live glory, 
That mates the lightning and mocks the thunder 
With light more living and word more proud. 

in 

Far off westward, whither sets the sounding strife, 
Strife more sweet than peace, of shoreless waves 

whose glee 
Scorns the shore and loves the wind that leaves 

them free, 

Strange as sleep and pale as death and fair as life, 
Shifts the moonlight-coloured sunshine on the sea. 

Toward the sunset's goal the sunless waters crowd, 
Fast as autumn days toward winter: yet it seems 
Here that autumn wanes not, here that woods and 

streams 
Lose not heart and change not likeness, chilled and 

bowed, 

Warped and wrinkled: here the days are fair as 
dreams. 

IV 

O russet-robed November, 

What ails thee so to smile? 
Chill August, pale September, 

Endured a woful while, 
And fell as falls an ember 

From forth a flameless pile: 
But golden-girt November 

Bids all she looks on smile. 
170 



A SWIMMER'S DREAM 

The lustrous foliage, waning 

As wanes the morning moon, 
Here falling, here refraining, 

Outbraves the pride of June 
With statelier semblance, feigning 

No fear lest death be soon: 
As though the woods thus waning 

Should wax to meet the moon. 

As though, when fields lie stricken 

By grey December's breath, 
These lordlier growths that sicken 

And die for fear of death 
Should feel the sense requicken 

That hears what springtide saith 
And thrills for love, spring-stricken 

And pierced with April's breath. 

The keen white-winged north-easter 

That stings and spurs thy sea 
Doth yet but feed and feast her 

With glowing sense of glee: 
Calm chained her, storm released her, 

And storm's glad voice was he: 
South-wester or north-easter, 

Thy winds rejoice the sea. 

v 
A dream, a dream is it all the season, 

The sky, the water, the wind, the shore ? 
A day-born dream of divine unreason, 
A marvel moulded of sleep no more ? 
171 



A SWIMMER'S DREAM 

For the cloiidlike wave that my limbs while cleaving 
Feel as in slumber beneath them heaving 
Soothes the sense as to slumber, leaving 
Sense of nought that was known of yore. 

A purer passion, a lordlier leisure, 

A peace more happy than lives on land, 
Fulfils with pulse of diviner pleasure 

The dreaming head and the steering hand, 
I lean my cheek to the cold grey pillow, 
The deep soft swell of the full broad billow, 
And close mine eyes for delight past measure, 
And wish the wheel of the world would stand. 

The wild-winged hour that we fain would capture 
Falls as from heaven that its light feet clomb, 

So brief, so soft, and so full the rapture 

Was felt that soothed me with sense of home. 

To sleep, to swim, and to dream, for ever 

Such joy the vision of man saw never; 

For here too soon will a dark day sever 

The sea-bird's wing from the sea-wave's foam. 

A dream, and more than a dream, and dimmer 
At once and brighter than dreams that flee, 

The moment's joy of the seaward swimmer 
Abides, remembered as truth may be. 

Not all the joy and not all the glory 

Must fade as leaves when the woods wax hoary ; 
For there the downs and the sea-banks glimmer, 
And here to south of them swells the sea. 






GRACE DARLING 



TAKE, O star of all our seas, from not an alien 

hand, 
Homage paid of song bowed down before thy 

glory's face, 

Thou the living light of all our lovely stormy strand, 
Thou the brave north-country's very glory of 
glories, Grace. 

Loud and dark about the lighthouse rings and glares 

the night; 
Glares with foam-lit gloom and darkling fire of 

storm and spray, 
Rings with roar of winds in chase and rage of waves 

in flight, 
Howls and hisses as with mouths of snakes and 

wolves at bay. 
Scarce the cliffs of the islets, scarce the walls of 

Joyous Gard, 
Flash to sight between the deadlier lightnings of 

the sea: 

Storm is lord and master of a midnight evil-starred, 
Nor may sight or fear discern what evil stars may 
be. 



GRACE DARLING 

Dark as death and white as snow the sea-swell 

scowls and shines, 

Heaves and yearns and pants for prey, from raven- 
ing lip to lip, 

Strong in rage of rapturous anguish, lines on hurt- 
ling lines, 
Ranks on charging ranks, that break and rend the 

battling ship. 
All the night is mad and murderous : who shall front 

the night? 

Not the prow that labours, helpless as a storm- 
blown leaf, 
Where the rocks and waters, darkling depth and 

beetling height, 

Rage with wave on shattering wave and thunder- 
ing reef on reef. 
Death is fallen upon the prisoners there of darkness, 

bound 
Like as thralls with links of iron fast in bonds of 

doom; 
How shall any way to break the bands of death be 

found, 
Any hand avail to pluck them from that raging 

tomb? 
All the night is great with child of death: no stars 

above 
Show them hope in heaven, no lights from shores 

ward help on earth. 
Is there help or hope to seaward, is there help in 

love, 

Hope in pity, where the ravening hounds of storm 
make mirth? 



GRACE DARLING 

Where the light but shows the naked eyeless face of 

Death 
Nearer, laughing dumb and grim across the loud 

live storm? 
Not in human heart or hand or speech of human 

breath, 
Surely, nor in saviours found of mortal face or 

form. 
Yet below the light, between the reefs, a skiff shot 

out 
Seems a sea-bird fain to breast and brave the 

strait fierce pass 
Whence the channelled roar of waters driven in 

raging rout, 

Pent and pressed and maddened, speaks their mon- 
strous might and mass. 
Thunder heaves and howls about them, lightning 

leaps and flashes, 
Hard at hand, not high in heaven, but close 

between the walls 
Heaped and hollowed of the storms of old, whence 

reels and crashes 
All the rage of all the unbaffled wave that breaks 

and falls. 
Who shall thwart the madness and the gladness of 

it, laden 
Full with heavy fate, and joyous as the birds that 

whirl ? 

Nought in heaven or earth, if not one mortal- 
moulded maiden, 

Nought if not the soul that glorifies a northland 
girl. 

175 



GRACE DARLING 

Not the rocks that break may baffle, not the reefs 

that thwart 
Stay the ravenoxfs rapture of the waves that crowd 

and leap; 
Scarce their flashing laughter shows the hunger of 

their heart, 
Scarce their lion-throated roar the wrath at heart 

they keep. 
Child and man and woman in the grasp of death 

clenched fast 
Tremble, clothed with darkness round about, and 

scarce draw breath, 
Scarce lift eyes up toward the light that saves not, 

scarce may cast 
Thought or prayer up, caught and trammelled in 

the snare of death. 
Not as sea-mews cling and laugh or sun their plumes 

and sleep 

Cling and cower the wild night's waifs of ship- 
wreck, blind with fear, 
Where the fierce reef scarce yields foothold that 

a bird might keep, 
And the clamorous darkness deadens eye and 

deafens ear. 
Yet beyond their helpless hearing, out of hopeless 

sight, 
Saviours, armed and girt upon with strength of 

heart, fare forth, 
Sire and daughter, hand on oar and face against the 

night, 

Maid and man whose names are beacons ever to 
the North. 

176 



GRACE DARLING 

Nearer now; but all the madness of the storming 

surf 
Hounds and roars them back; but roars and 

hounds them back in vain: 
As a pleasure-skiff may graze the lake-embanking 

turf, 
So the boat that bears them grates the rock where- 

toward they strain. 
Dawn as fierce and haggard as the face of night 

scarce guides 

Toward the cries that rent and clove the dark- 
ness, crying for aid, 
Hours on hours, across the engorged reluctance of 

the tides, 

Sire and daughter, high-souled man and mightier- 
hearted maid, 
Not the bravest land that ever breasted war's grim 

sea, 
Hurled her foes back harried on the lowlands 

whence they came, 
Held her own and smote her smiters down, while 

such durst be, 
Shining northward, shining southward, as the 

aurorean flame, 
Not our mother, not Northumberland, brought ever 

forth, 
Though no southern shore may match the sons 

that kiss her mouth, 
Children worthier all the brithright given of the 

ardent north 

Where the fire of hearts outburns the suns that 
fire the south. 

vi.-i* 177 



GRACE DARLING 

Even such fire was this that lit them, not from 

lowering skies 
Where the darkling dawn flagged, stricken in the 

sun's own shrine, 
Down the gulf of storm subsiding, till their earnest 

eyes 
Find the relics of the ravening night that spared 

but nine. 

Life by life the man redeems them, head by storm- 
worn head, 
While the girl's hand stays the boat whereof the 

waves are fain: 
Ah, but woe for one, the mother clasping fast her 

dead! 
Happier, had the surges slain her with her children 

slain. 
Back they bear, and bring between them safe the 

woful nine, 
Where above the ravenous Hawkers fixed at 

watch for prey 
Storm and calm behold the Longstone's towering 

signal shine 
Now as when that labouring night brought forth a 

shuddering day. 
Now as then, though like the hounds of storm 

against her snarling 
All the clamorous years between us storm down 

many a fame, 
As our sires beheld before us we behold Grace 

Darling 

Crowned and throned our queen, and as they 
hailed we hail her name. 



GRACE DARLING 

Nay, not ours alone, her kinsfolk born, though 

chiefliest ours, 
East and west and south acclaim her queen of 

England's maids, 
Star more sweet than all their stars and flower than 

all their flowers, 
Higher in heaven and earth than star than sets or 

flower that fades. 
How should land or sea that nurtured her forget, or 

love 
Hold not fast her fame for us while aught is borne 

in mind? 
Land and sea beneath us, sun and moon and stars 

above, 
Bear the bright soul witness, seen of all but souls 

born blind. 
Stars and moon and sun may wax and wane, subside 

and rise, 
Age on age as flake on flake of showering snows be 

shed: 
Not till earth be sunless, not till death strike blind 

the skies, 

May the deathless love that waits on deathless 
deeds be dead. 



Years on years have withered since beside the 

hearth once thine 
I, too young to have seen thee, touched thy 

father's hallowed hand: 

Thee and him shall all men see for ever, stars that shine 
While the sea that spared thee girds and glorifies 
the land. 



LOCH TORRIDON 
To E. H. 



THE dawn of night more fair than morning rose, 
Stars hurrying forth on stars, as snows on snows 
Haste when the wind and winter bid them speed. 
Vague miles of moorland road behind us lay 
Scarce traversed ere the day 
Sank, and the sun forsook us at our need, 
Belated. Where we thought to have rested, rest 
Was none; for soft Maree's dim quivering breast, 
Bound round with gracious inland girth of green 
And fearless of the wild wave-wandering West, 
Shone shelterless for strangers; and unseen 
The goal before us lay 
Of all our blithe and strange and strenuous day. 

For when the northering road faced westward 

when 
The dark sharp sudden gorge dropped seaward 

then, 

Beneath the stars, between the steeps, the track 
We followed, lighted not of moon or sun, 
And plunging whither none 

180 



LOCH TORRIDON 

Might guess, while heaven and earth were hoar and 

black, 
Seemed even the dim still pass whence none turns 

back: 

And through the twilight leftward of the way, 
And down the dark, with many a laugh and leap, 
The light blithe hill-streams shone from scaur to steep 
In glittering pride of play; 
And ever while the night grew great and deep 
We felt but saw not what the hills would keep 
Sacred awhile from sense of moon or star; 
And full and far 

Beneath us, sweet and strange as heaven may be, 
The sea. 

The very sea: no mountain-moulded lake 

Whose fluctuant shapeliness is fain to take 

Shape from the steadfast shore that rules it round, 

And only from the storms a casual sound: 

The sea, that harbours in her heart sublime 

The supreme heart of music deep as time, 

And in her spirit strong 

The spirit of all imaginable song. 

Not a whisper or lisp from the waters: the skies 
were not silenter. Peace 

Was between them ; a passionless rapture of respite 
as soft as release. 

Not a sound, but a sense that possessed and per- 
vaded with patient delight 

The soul and the body, clothed round with the com- 
fort of limitless night. 
181 



LOCH TORRIDON 

Night infinite, living, adorable, loved of the land and 

the sea: 
Night, mother of mercies, who saith to the spirits in 

prison, Be free. 
And softer than dewfall, and kindlier than starlight, 

and keener than wine, 
Came round us the fragrance of waters, the life of 

the breath of the brine. 
We saw not, we heard not, the face or the voice of 

the waters: we knew 
By the darkling delight of the wind as the sense of 

the sea in it grew, 
By the pulse of the darkness about us enkindled and 

quickened, that here, 
Unseen and unheard of us, surely the goal we had 

faith in was near. 
A silence diviner than music, a darkness diviner 

than light, 
Fulfilled as from heaven with a measureless comfort 

the measure of night. 



But never a roof for shelter 
And never a sign for guide 
Rose doubtful or visible: only 

And hardly and gladly we heard 
The soft waves whisper and welter, 
Subdued, and allured to subside, 

By the mild night's magic: the lonely 

Sweet silence was soothed, not stirred, 
By the noiseless noise of the gleaming 
Glad ripples, that played and sighed, 
182 



LOCH TORRIDON 

Kissed, laughed, recoiled, and relented, 

Whispered, flickered, and fled. 
No season was this for dreaming 
How oft, with a stormier tide, 

Had the wrath of the winds been vented 

On sons of the tribes long dead: 
The tribes whom time, and the changes 
Of things, and the stress of doom, 
Have erased and effaced; forgotten 
As wrecks or weeds of the shore 
In sight of the stern hill-ranges 

That hardly may change their gloom 
When the fruits of the years wax rotten 
And the seed of them springs no more. 
For the dim strait footway dividing 
The waters that breathed below 
Led safe to the kindliest of shelters 

That ever awoke into light: 
And still in remembrance abiding 
Broods over the stars that glow 

And the water that eddies and welters 
The passionate peace of the night. 



All night long, in the world of sleep, 
Skies and waters were soft and deep: 
Shadow clothed them, and silence made 
Soundless music of dream and shade: 
All above us, the livelong night, 
Shadow, kindled with sense of light; 
All around us, the brief night long, 
Silence, laden with sense of song. 



LOCH TORRIDON 

Stars and mountains without, we knew, 
Watched and waited, the soft night through: 
All unseen, but divined and dear, 
Thrilled the touch of the sea's breath near: 
All unheard, but alive like sound, 
Throbbed the sense of the sea's life round: 
Round us, near us, in depth and height, 
Soft as darkness and keen as light. 

And the dawn leapt in at my casement: and there, 
as I rose, at my feet 

No waves of the landlocked waters, no lake sub- 
missive and sweet, 

Soft slave of the lordly seasons, whose breath may 
loose it or freeze; 

But to left and to right and ahead was the ripple 
whose pulse is the sea's. 

From the gorge we had travelled by starlight the 
sunrise, winged and aflame, 

Shone large on the live wide wavelets that shuddered 
with joy as it came; 

As it came and caressed and possessed them, till 
panting and laughing with light 

From mountain to mountain the water was kindled 
and stung to delight. 

And the grey gaunt heights that embraced and con- 
strained and compelled it were glad, 

And the rampart of rock, stark naked, that thwarted 
and barred it, was clad 

With a stern gray splendour of sunrise: and scarce 
had I sprung to the sea 

When the dawn and the water were wedded, the hills 
and the sky set free. 
184 



LOCH TORRIDON 

The chain of the night was broken: the waves that 
embraced me and smiled 

And flickered and fawned in the sunlight, alive, un- 
afraid, undefiled, 

Were sweeter to swim in than air, though fulfilled 
with the mounting morn, 

Could be for the birds whose triumph rejoiced that a 
day was born. 

And a day was arisen indeed for us. Years and the 

changes of years 
Clothed round with their joys and their sorrows, 

and dead as their hopes and their fears, 
Lie noteless and nameless, unlit by remembrance or 

record of days 
Worth wonder or memory, or cursing or blessing, or 

passion or praise, 
Between us who live and forget not, but yearn with 

delight in it yet, 
And the day we forget not, and never may live and 

may think to forget. 
And the years that were kindlier and fairer, and 

kindled with pleasures as keen, 
Have eclipsed not with lights or with shadows the 

light on the face of it seen. 
For softly and surely, as nearer the boat that we 

gazed from drew, 
The face of the precipice opened and bade us as 

birds pass through, 
And the bark shot sheer to the sea through the strait 

of the sharp steep cleft, 
The portal that opens with imminent rampires to 

right and to left, 

185 



LOCH TORRIDON 

Sublime as the sky they darken and strange as a 

spell-struck dream, 
On the world unconfined of the mountains, the reign 

of the sea supreme, 
The kingdom of westward waters, wherein when we 

swam we knew 
The waves that we clove were boundless, the wind 

on our brows that blew 
Had swept no land and no lake, and had warred not 

on tower or on tree, 
But came on us hard out of heaven, and alive with 

the soul of the sea. 



THE PALACE OF PAN 
INSCRIBED TO MY MOTHER 



SEPTEMBER, all glorious with gold, as a king 

In the radiance of triumph attired, 
Outlightening the summer, outsweetening the spring, 
Broods wide on the woodlands with limitless wing, 

A presence of all men desired. 

Far eastward and westward the sun-coloured lands 

Smile warm as the light on them smiles; 
And statelier than temples upbuilded with hands, 
Tall column by column, the sanctuary stands 
Of the pine-forest's infinite aisles. 

Mute worship, too fervent for praise or for prayer, 

Possesses the spirit with peace, 
Fulfilled with the breath of the luminous air, 
The fragrance, the silence, the shadows as fair 

As the rays that recede or increase. 

Ridged pillars that redden aloft and aloof, 

With never a branch for a nest, 
Sustain the sublime indivisible roof, 
To the storm and the sun in his majesty proof, 

And awful as waters at rest. 






THE PALACE OF PAN 

Man's hand hath not measured the height of them; 

thought 

May measure not, awe may not know; 
In its shadow the woofs of the woodland are 

wrought ; 

As a bird is the sun in the toils of them caught, 
And the flakes of it scattered as snow. 

As the shreds of a plumage of gold on the ground 

The sun-flakes by multitudes lie, 
Shed loose as the petals of roses discrowned 
On the floors of the forest engilt and embrowned 

And reddened afar and anigh. 

Dim centuries with darkling inscrutable hands 

Have reared and secluded the shrine 
For gods that we know not, and kindled as brands 
On the altar the years that are dust, and their 

sands 
Time's glass has forgotten for sign. 

A temple whose transepts are measured by miles, 

Whose chancel has morning for priest, 
Whose floor-work the foot of no spoiler defiles, 
Whose musical silence no music beguiles, 
No festivals limit its feast. 



The noon's ministration, the night's and the dawn's, 

Conceals not, reveals not for man, 
On the slopes of the herbless and blossomless lawns, 
Some track of a nymph's or some trail of a faun's 

To the place of the slumber of Pan. 
188 



THE PALACE OF PAN 

Thought, kindled and quickened by worship and 
wonder 

To rapture too sacred for fear 
On the ways that unite or divide them in sunder, 
Alone may discern if about them or under 

Be token or trace of him here. 

With passionate awe that is deeper than panic 

The spirit subdued and unshaken 
Takes heed of the godhead terrene and Titanic 
Whose footfall is felt on the breach of volcanic 

Sharp steeps that their fire has forsaken. 

By a spell more serene than the dim necromantic 

Dead charms of the past and the night, 
Or the terror that lurked in the noon to make frantic 
Where Etna takes shape from the limbs of gigantic 
Dead gods disanointed of might, 

The spirit made one with the spirit whose breath 

Makes noon in the woodland sublime 
Abides as entranced in a presence that saith 
Things loftier than life and serener than death, 
Triumphant and silent as time. 

PINE RIDGE: September 1893. 



A YEAR'S CAROLS 



JANUARY 

HAIL, January, that bearest here 

On snowbright breasts the babe-faced year 

That weeps and trembles to be born. 
Hail, maid and mother, strong and bright, 
Hooded and cloaked and shod with white, 

Whose eyes are stars that match the morn. 
Thy forehead braves 'the storm's bent bow, 
Thy feet enkindle stars of snow. 



FEBRUARY 

Wan February with weeping cheer, 

Whose cold hand guides the youngling year 

Down misty roads of mire and rime, 
Before thy pale and fitful face 
The shrill wind shifts the clouds apace 

Through skies the morning scarce may climb. 
Thine eyes are thick with heavy tears, 
But lit with hopes that light the year's. 
190 



A YEAR'S CAROLS 

MARCH 

Hail, happy March, whose foot on earth 
Rings as the blast of martial mirth 

When trumpets fire men's hearts for fray. 
No race of wild things winged or finned 
May match the might that wings thy wind 

Through air and sea, through scud and spray. 
Strong joy and thou were powers twin-born 
Of tempest and the towering morn. 

APRIL 

Crowned April, king whose kiss bade earth 
Bring forth to time her lordliest birth 

When Shakespeare from thy lips drew breath 
And laughed to hold in one soft hand 
A spell that bade the world's wheel stand, 

And power on life, and power on death, 
With quiring suns and sunbright showers 
Praise him, the flower of all thy flowers. 



MAY 

Hail, May, whose bark puts forth full-sailed 
For summer; May, whom Chaucer hailed 

With all his happy might of heart, 
And gave thy rosebright daisy -tips 
Strange fragrance from his amorous lips 

That still thine own breath seems to part 
And sweeten till each word they say 
Is even a flower of flowering May. 
191 



A YEAR'S CAROLS 

JUNE 

Strong June, superb, serene, elate 
With conscience of thy sovereign state 

Untouched of thunder, though the storm 
Scathe here and there thy shuddering skies 
And bid its lightning cross thine eyes 

With fire, thy golden hours inform 
Earth and the souls of men with life 
That brings forth peace from shining strife. 

JULY 

Hail, proud July, whose fervent mouth 
Bids even be morn and north be south 

By grace and gospel of thy word, 
Whence all the splendour of the sea 
Lies breathless with delight in thee 

And marvel at the music heard 
From the ardent silent lips of noon 
And midnight's rapturous plenilune. 

AUGUST 

Great August, lord of golden lands, 
Whose lordly joy through seas and strands 

And all the red-ripe heart of earth 
Strikes passion deep as life, and stills 
The folded vales and folding hills 

With gladness too divine for mirth, 
The gracious glories of thine eyes 
Makes night a noon where darkness dies. 
192 






A YEAR'S CAROLS 

SEPTEMBER 

Hail, kind September, friend whose grace 
Renews the bland year's bounteous face 

With largess given of corn and wine 
Through many a land that laughs with love 
Of thee and all the heaven above, 

More fruitful found than all save thine 
Whose skies fulfil with strenuous cheer 
The fervent fields that knew thee near. 



OCTOBER 

October of the tawny crown, 

Whose heavy-laden hands drop down 

Blessing, the bounties of thy breath 
And mildness of thy mellowing might 
Fill earth and heaven with love and light 

Too sweet for fear to dream of death 
Or memory, while thy joy lives yet, 
To know what joy would fain forget. 

NOVEMBER 

Hail, soft November, though thy pale 
Sad smile rebuke the words that hail 

Thy sorrow with no sorrowing words 
Or gratulate thy grief with song 
Less bitter than the winds that wrong 

Thy withering woodlands, where the birds 
Keep hardly heart to sing or see 
How fair thy faint wan face may be. 
i.-is 193 



A YEAR'S CAROLS 

DECEMBER 

December, thou whose hallowing hands 
On shuddering seas and hardening lands 

Set as a sacramental sign 
The seal of Christmas felt on earth 
As witness toward a new year's birth 

Whose promise makes thy death divine. 
The crowning joy that comes of thee 
Makes glad all grief on land or sea. 



ENGLAND: AN ODE 



SEA and strand, and a lordlier land than sea-tides 

rolling and rising sun 
Clasp and lighten in climes that brighten with day 

when day that was here is done, 
Call aloud on their children, proud with trust that 

future and past are one. 

Far and near from the swan's nest here the storm- 
birds bred of her fair white breast, 

Sons whose home was the sea-wave's foam, have 
borne the fame of her east and west; 

North and south has the storm-wind's mouth rung 
praise of England and England's quest. 

Fame, wherever her flag flew, never forbore to fly 
with an equal wing: 

France and Spain with their warrior train bowed 
down before her as thrall to king; 

India knelt at her feet, and felt her sway more fruit- 
ful of life than spring. 

Darkness round them as iron bound fell off from 

races of elder name, 
Slain at sight of her eyes, whose light bids freedom 

lighten and burn as flame; 
Night endures not the touch that cures of kingship 

tyrants, and slaves of shame. 
195 



ENGLAND: AN ODE 

All the terror of time, where error and fear were lords 

of a world of slaves, 
Age on age in resurgent rage and anguish darkening 

as waves on waves, 
Fell or fled from a face that shed such grace as 

quickens the dust of graves. 



Things of night at her glance took flight: the 
strengths of darkness recoiled and sank: 

Sank the fires of the murderous pyres whereon wild 
agony writhed and shrank: 

Rose the light of the reign of right from gulfs of 
years that the darkness drank. 



Yet the might of her wings in flight, whence glory 

lightens and music rings, 
Loud and bright as the dawn's, shall smite and still 

the discord of evil things, 
Yet not slain by her radiant reign, but darkened 

now by her sail-stretched wings. 



ii 

Music made of change and conquest, glory born of 

evil slain, 
Stilled the discord, slew the darkness, bade the lights 

of tempest wane, 
Where the deathless dawn of England rose in sign 

that right should reign. 
196 



ENGLAND: AN ODE 

Mercy, where the tiger wallowed mad and blind with 

blood and lust, 
Justice, where the jackal yelped and fed, and slaves 

allowed it just, 
Rose as England's light on Asia rose, and smote 

them down to dust. 

Justice bright as mercy, mercy girt by justice with 

her sword, 
Smote and saved and raised and ruined, till the 

tyrant-ridden horde 
Saw the lightning fade from heaven and knew the 

sun for God and lord. 

Where the footfall sounds of England, where the 

smile of England shines, 
Rings the tread and laughs the face of freedom, fair 

as hope divines 
Days to be, more brave than ours and lit by lordlier 

stars for signs. 

All our past acclaims our future: Shakespeare's 

voice and Nelson's hand, 
Milton's faith and Wordsworth's trust in this our 

chosen and chainless land, 
Bear us witness: come the world against her, 

England yet shall stand. 

Earth and sea bear England witness if he lied who 

said it; he 
Whom the winds that ward her, waves that clasp, 

and herb and flower and tree 
Fed with English dews and sunbeams, hail as more 

than man may be. 

197 



ENGLAND: AN ODE 

No man ever spake as he that bade our England be 

but true, 
Keep but faith with England fast and firm, and none 

should bid her rue; 
None may speak as he: but all may know the sign 

that Shakespeare knew. 



in 

From the springs of the dawn, from the depths of the 
noon, from the heights of the night that shine, 

Hope, faith, and remembrance of glory that found 
but in England her throne and her shrine, 

Speak louder than song may proclaim them, that 
here is the seal of them set for a sign. 



And loud as the sea's voice thunders applause of the 

land that is one with the sea 
Speaks Time in the ear of the people that never at 

heart was not inly free 
The word of command that assures us of life, if we 

will but that life shall be; 



If the race that is first of the races of men who 

behold unashamed the sun 
Stand fast and forget not the sign that is given of 

the years and the wars that are done, 
The token that all who are born of its blood should 

in heart as in blood be one. 
198 



ENGLAND: AN ODE 

The word of remembrance that lightens as fire from 

the steeps of the storm-lit past 
Bids only the faith of our fathers endure in us, firm 

as they held it fast: 
That the glory which was from the first upon 

England alone may endure to the last. 

That the love and the hate may change not, the faith 
may not fade, nor the wrath nor scorn, 

That shines for her sons and that burns for her foe- 
men as fire of the night or the morn: 

That the births of her womb may forget not the sign 
of the glory wherein they were born. 

A light that is more than the sunlight, an air that is 

brighter than morning's breath, 
Clothes England about as the strong sea clasps her, 

and answers the word that it saith; 
The word that assures her of life if she change not, 

and choose not the ways of death. 

Change darkens and lightens around her, alternate 

in hope and in fear to be: 
Hope knows not if fear speak truth, nor fear whether 

hope be not blind as she: 
But the sun is in heaven that beholds her immortal, 

and girdled with life by the sea, 



ETON: AN ODE 



FOR THE FOUR HUNDRED AND FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY 
OF THE FOUNDATION OF THE COLLEGE 



FOUR hundred summers and fifty have shone on the 

meadows of Thames and died 
Since Eton arose in an age that was darkness, and 

shone by his radiant side 
As a star that the spell of a wise man's word bade 

live and ascend and abide. 

And ever as time's flow brightened, a river more dark 

than the storm-clothed sea, 
And age upon age rose fairer and larger in promise of 

hope set free, 
With England Eton her child kept pace as a fostress 

of men to be. 

And ever as earth waxed wiser, and softer the beat- 
ing of time's wide wings, 

Since fate fell dark on her father, most hapless and 
gentlest of star-crossed kings, 

Her praise has increased as the chant of the dawn 
that the choir of the noon outsings. 
200 



ETON: AN ODE 
ii 

Storm and cloud in the skies were loud, and light- 
ning mocked at the blind sun's light; 

War and woe on the hand below shed heavier shadow 
than falls from night; 

Dark was earth at her dawn of birth as here her 
record of praise is bright. 

Clear and fair through her morning air the light first 

laugh of the sunlit stage 
Rose and rang as a fount that sprang from depths 

yet dark with a spent storm's rage, 
Loud and glad as a boy's, and bade the sunrise open 

on Shakespeare's age. 

Lords of state and of war, whom fate found strong in 

battle, in counsel strong, 
Here, ere fate had approved them great, abode their 

season, and thought not long: 
Here too first was the lark's note nursed that filled 

and flooded the skies with song. 



in 

Shelley, lyric lord of England's lordliest singers, here 
first heard 

Ring from lips of poets crowned and dead the Pro- 
methean word 

Whence his soul took fire, and power to outsoar the 
sunward-soaring bird. 
201 



ETON: AN ODE 

Still the reaches of the river, still the light on field 

and hill, 
Still the memories held aloft as lamps for hope's 

young fire to fill, 
Shine, and while the light of England lives shall 

shine for England still. 

When four hundred more and fifty years have risen 

and shone and set, 
Bright with names that men remember, loud with 

names that men forget, 
Haply here shall Eton's record be what England 

finds it yet. 



THE UNION 



THREE in one, but one in three, 
God, who girt her with the sea, 
Bade our Commonweal to be: 

Nought, if now not one. 
Though fraud and fear would sever 
The bond assured for ever, 
Their shameful strength shall never 
Undo what heaven has done. 



ii 



South and North and West and East 

Watch the ravens flock to feast, 

Dense as round some death -struck beast, 

Black as night is black. 
Stand fast as faith together 
In stress of treacherous weather 
When hounds and wolves break tether 
And Treason guides the pack. 
203 



THE UNION 
in 

Lovelier than thy seas are strong, 
Glorious Ireland, sword and song 
Gird and crown thee: none may wrong, 

Save thy sons alone. 
The sea that laughs around us 
Hath sundered not but bound us: 
The sun's first rising found us 
Throned on its equal throne. 



IV 



North and South and East and West, 
All true hearts that wish thee best 
Beat one tune and own one quest, 

Staunch and sure as steel. 
God guard from dark disunion 
Our threefold State's communion, 
God save the loyal Union, 
The royal Commonweal! 



EAST TO WEST 



SUNSET smiles on sunrise: east and west are one, 

Face to face in heaven before the sovereign sun. 

From the springs of the dawn everlasting a glory 

renews and transfigures the west, 
From the depths of the sunset a light as of morning 

enkindles the broad sea's breast, 
And the lands and the skies and the waters are glad 
of* the day's and the night's work done. 

Child of dawn, and regent on the world-wide sea, 

England smiles on Europe, fair as dawn and free. 

Not tl;e waters that gird her are purer, nor mightier 

the winds that her waters know. 
But America, daughter and sister of England, is 

praised of them, far as they flow: 
Atlantic responds to Pacific the praise of her days 
that have been and shall be. 

So from England westward let the watchword fly, 
So for England eastward let the seas reply; 
Praise, honour, and love everlasting be sent on the 

wind's wings, westward and east, 
That the pride of the past and the pride of the 

future may mingle as friends at feast, 
And the sons of the lords of the world-wide seas be 
one till the world's life die. 
205 



INSCRIPTIONS 

FOR THE FOUR SIDES OF A PEDESTAL 



MARLOWE, the father of the sons of song 

Whose praise is England's crowning praise, above 

All glories else that crown her, sweet and strong 
As England, clothed with light and fire of love, 

And girt with might of passion, thought, ,and trust, 

Stands here in spirit, sleeps not here in dust. 

ii 

Marlowe, a star too sovereign, too superb, 

To fade when heaven took fire from Shakespeare's 
light, 

A soul that knew but song's triumphal curb 
And love's triumphant bondage, holds of right 

His pride of place, who first in place and time 

Made England's voice as England's heart sublime. 

in 

Marlowe bade England live in living song: 
The light he lifted up lit Shakespeare's way: 

He spake, and life sprang forth in music, strong 
As fire or lightning, sweet as dawn of day. 

Song was a dream where day took night to wife: 

"Let there be life," he said: and there was life. 

206 



INSCRIPTIONS 

IV 

Marlowe of all our fathers first beheld 
Beyond the tidal ebb and flow of things 

The tideless depth and height of souls, impelled 
By thought or passion, borne on waves or wings, 

Beyond all flight or sight but song's: and he 

First gave our song a sound that matched our sea. 



ON THE DEATH OF RICHARD BURTON 



NIGHT or light is it now, wherein 

Sleeps, shut out from the wild world's din, 

Wakes, alive with a life more clear, 
One who found not on earth his kin? 

Sleep were sweet for a while, were dear 
Surely to souls that were heartless here, 

Souls that faltered and flagged and fell, 
Soft of spirit and faint of cheer. 

A living soul that had strength to quell 
Hope the spectre and fear the spell, 

Clear-eyed, content with a scorn sublime 
And a faith superb, can it fare not well? 

Life, the shadow of wide- winged time, 

Cast from the wings that change as they climb, 

Life may vanish in death, and seem 
Less than the promise of last year's prime. 

But not for us is the past a dream 
Wherefrom, as light from a clouded stream, 
Faith fades and shivers and ebbs away, 
Faint as the moon if the sundawn gleam. 
208 



ON THE DEATH OF RICHARD BURTON 

Faith, whose eyes in the low last ray 
Watch the fire that renews the day, 

Faith which lives in the living past, 
Rock-rooted, swerves not as weeds that sway. 



As trees that stand in the storm-wind fast 
She stands, unsmitten of death's keen blast, 

With strong remembrance of sunbright spring 
Alive at heart to the lifeless last. 



Night, she knows, may in no wise cling 
To a soul that sinks not and droops not wing, 
A sun that sets not in death's false night 
Whose kingdom finds him not thrall but king. 

Souls there are that for soul's affright 

Bow down and cower in the sun's glad sight, 

Clothed round with faith that is one with fear, 
And dark with doubt of the live world's light. 

But him we hailed from afar or near 
As boldest born of the bravest here 

And loved as brightest of souls that eyed 
Life, time, and death with unchangeful cheer. 

A wider soul than the world was wide, 

Whose praise made love of him one with pride, 

What part has death or has time in him, 
Who rode life's lists as a god might ride? 

vi. 14 209 



ON THE. DEATH OF RICHARD BURTON 

While England sees not her old praise dim, 
While still her stars through the world's night swim, 

A fame outshining her Raleigh's fame, 
A light that lightens her loud sea's rim, 

Shall shine and sound as her sons proclaim 
The pride that kindles at Burton's name. 
And joy shall exalt their pride to be 
The same in birth if in soul the same. 

But we that yearn for a friend's face we 
Who lack the light that on earth was he 

Mourn, though the light be a quenchless flame 
That shines as dawn on a tideless sea, 



ELEGY 

1869-1891 



AUVERGNE, Auvergne, O wild and woful land, 
O glorious land and gracious, white as gleam 

The stairs of heaven, black as a flameless brand, 
Strange even as life, and stranger than a dream, 

Could earth remember man, whose eyes made bright 
The splendour of her beauty, lit by day 

Or soothed and softened and redeemed by night, 
Wouldst thou not know what light has passed 
away? 

Wouldst thou not know whom England, whom the 

world, 
Mourns? For the world whose wildest ways he 

trod, 
And smiled their dangers down that coiled and 

curled 
Against him, knows him now less man than god. 

Our demigod of daring, keenest-eyed 

To read and deepest read in earth's dim things, 
A spirit now whose body of death has died 

And left it mightier yet in eyes and wings, 
211 



ELEGY 

The sovereign seeker of the world, who now 

Hath sought what world the light of death may 
show, 

Hailed once with me the crowns that load thy brow, 
Crags dark as midnight, columns bright as snow. 

Thy steep small Siena, splendid and content 
As shines the mightier city's Tuscan pride 

Which here its face reflects in radiance, pent 

By narrower bounds from towering side to side, 

Set fast between the ridged and foamless waves 
Of earth more fierce and fluctuant than the sea, 

The fearless town of towers that hails and braves 
The heights that gird, the sun that brands Le Puy ; 

The huddled churches clinging on the cliffs 

As birds alighting might for storm's sake cling, 

Moored to the rocks as tempest-harried skiffs 
To perilous refuge from the loud wind's wing ; 

The stairs on stairs that wind and change and climb 
Even up to the utmost crag's edge curved and 
curled, 

More bright than vision, more than faith sublime, 
Strange as the light and darkness of the world; 

Strange as are night and morning, stars and sun, 
And washed from west and east by day's deep 

tide, 

Shine yet less fair, when all their heights are won, 
Than sundawn shows thy pillared mountain-side. 
212 



ELEGY 

Even so the dawn of death, whose light makes dim 
The starry fires that life sees rise and set, 

Shows higher than here he shone before us him 
Whom faith forgets not, nor shall fame forget. 

Even so those else unfooted heights we clomb 
Through scudding mist and eddying whirls of 
cloud, 

Blind as a pilot beaten blind with foam, 

And shrouded as a corpse with storm's grey shroud, 

Foot following foot along the sheer strait ledge 
Where space was none to bear the wild goat's feet 

Till blind we sat on the outer footless edge 

Where darkling death seemed fain to share the 
seat, 

The abyss before us, viewless even as time's, 
The abyss to left of us, the abyss to right, 

Bid thought now dream how high the freed soul 

climbs 
That death sets free from change of day and night. 

The might of raging mist and wind whose wrath 
Shut from our eyes the narrowing rock we trod, 

The wondrous world it darkened, made our path 
Like theirs who take the shadow of death for God. 

Yet eastward, veiled in vapour white as snow, 
The grim black herbless heights that scorn the sun 

And mock the face of morning rose to show 

The work of earth-born fire and earthquake done. 
213 



ELEGY 

And half the world was haggard night, wherein 
We strove our blind way through: but far above 

Was light that watched the wild mists whirl and spin, 
And far beneath a land worth light and love. 

Deep down the Valley of the Curse, undaunted 
By shadow and whisper of winds with sins for 

wings 
And ghosts of crime wherethrough the heights live 

haunted 
By present sense of past and monstrous things, 

The glimmering water holds its gracious way 

Full forth, and keeps one happier hand's-breadth 
green 

Of all that storm-scathed world whereon the sway 
Sits dark as death of deadlier things unseen. 

But on the soundless and the viewless river 

That bears through night perchance again to day 

The dead whom death and twin-born fame deliver 
From life that dies, and time's inveterate sway, 

No shadow save of falsehood and of fear 

That brands the future with the past, and bids 

The spirit wither and the soul grow sere, 
Hovers or hangs to cloud life's opening lids, 

If life have eyes to lift again and see, 

Beyond the bounds of sensual sight or breath, 

What life incognisable of ours may be 

That turns our light to darkness deep as death. 
214 



ELEGY 

Priests and the soulless serfs of priests may swarm 
With vulturous acclamation, loud in lies, 

About his dust while yet his dust is warm 

Who mocked as sunlight mocks their base blind 
eyes, 

Their godless ghost of godhead, false and foul 
As fear his dam or hell his throne: but we, 

Scarce hearing, heed no carrion church-wolf's howl: 
The corpse be theirs to mock; the soul is free. 

Free as ere yet its earthly day was done 
It lived above the coil about us curled: 

A soul whose eyes were keener than the sun, 
A soul whose wings were wider than the world. 

We, sons of east and west, ringed round with dreams, 
Bound fast with visions, girt about with fears, 

Live, trust, and think by chance, while shadow 

seems 
Light, and the wind that wrecks a hand that steers. 

He, whose full soul held east and west in poise, 
Weighed man with man, and creed of man's with 
creed, 

And age with age, their triumphs and their toys, 
And found what faith may read not and may read. 

Scorn deep and strong as death and life, that lit 
With fire the smile at lies and dreams outworn 

Wherewith he smote them, showed sublime in it 
The splendour and the steadfastness of scorn. 
215 



ELEGY 

What loftier heaven, what lordlier air, what space 

Illimitable, insuperable, infinite, 
Now to that strong-winged soul yields ampler place 

Than passing darkness yields to passing light, 

No dream, no faith can tell us: hope and fear, 

Whose tongues were loud of old as children's, now 
From babbling fall to silence: change is here, 

And death; dark furrows drawn by time's dark 
plough. 

, 
Still sunward here on earth its flight was bent, 

Even since the man within the child began 
To yearn and kindle with superb intent 

And trust in time to magnify the man. 

Still toward the old garden of the Sun, whose fruit 

The honey-heavy lips of Sophocles 
Desired and sang, wherein the unwithering root 

Sprang of all growths that thought brings forth 
and sees 

Incarnate, bright with bloom or dense with leaf 
Far-shadowing, deep as depth of dawn or night: 

And all were parcel of the garnered sheaf 
His strenuous spirit bound and stored aright. 

And eastward now, and ever toward the dawn, 
If death's deep veil by life's bright hand be 

rent, 

We see, as through the shadow of death withdrawn, 
The imperious soul's indomitable ascent, 
216 



ELEGY 

But not the soul whose labour knew not end 
But not the swordsman's hand, the crested head- 

The royal heart we mourn, the faultless friend, 
Burton a name that lives till fame be dead. 



A SEQUENCE OF SONNETS 
ON THE DEATH OF ROBERT BROWNING 



THE clearest eyes in all the world they read 

With sense more keen and spirit of sight more 

true 
Than burns and thrills in sunrise, when the dew 

Flames, and absorbs the glory round it shed, 

As they the light of ages quick and dead, 

Closed now, forsake us: yet the shaft that slew 
Can slay not one of all the works we knew, 

Nor death discrown that many-laurelled head. 

The works of words whose life seems lightning 

wrought, 
And moulded of unconquerable thought, 

And quickened with imperishable flame, 
Stand fast and shine and smile, assured that nought 
May fade of all their myriad-moulded fame, 
Nor England's memory clasp not Browning's 
name. 

December 13, 1889. 

218 



THE DEATH OF ROBERT BROWNING 

II 

Death, what hast thou to do with one for whom 
Time is not lord, but servant? What least part 
Of all the fire that fed his living heart, 
Of all the light more keen than sundawn's bloom 
That lit and led his spirit, strong as doom 

And bright as hope, can aught thy breath may dart 
Quench ? Nay, thou knowest he knew thee what 

thou art, 

A shadow born of terror's barren womb, 
That brings not forth save shadows. What art thou, 
To dream, albeit thou breathe upon his brow, 

That power on him is given thee, that thy breath 
Can make him less than love acclaims him now, 
And hears all time sound back the word it saith ? 
What part hast thou then in his glory, Death ? 



in 

A graceless doom it seems that bids us grieve: 
Venice and winter, hand in deadly hand, 
Have slain the lover of her sunbright strand 

And singer of a stormbright Christmas Eve. 

A graceless guerdon we that loved receive 
For all our love, from that the dearest land 
Love worshipped ever. Blithe and soft and bland, 

Too fair for storm to scathe or fire to cleave, 

Shone on our dreams and memories evermore 

The domes, the towers, the mountains and the shore 
That gird or guard thee, Venice: cold and black 

Seems now the face we loved as he of yore. 

219 



A SEQUENCE OP SONNETS ON 

We have given thee love no stint, no stay, no 

lack: 
What gift, what gift is this thou hast given us back ? 



IV 

But he to him, who knows what gift is thine, 
Death ? Hardly may we think or hope, when we 
Pass likewise thither where to-night is he, 

Beyond the irremeable outer seas that shine 

And darken round such dreams as half divine 
Some sunlit harbour in that starless sea 
Where gleams no ship to windward or to lee, 

To read with him the secret of thy shrine. 

There too, as here, may song, delight, and love, 
The nightingale, the sea-bird, and the dove, 

Fulfil with joy the splendour of the sky 
Till all beneath wax bright as all above: 

But none of all that search the heavens, and try 
The sun, may match the sovereign eagle's eye. 

December 14. 



Among the wondrous ways of men and time 
He went as one that ever found and sought 
And bore in hand the lamplike spirit of thought 

To illumine with instance of its fire sublime 

The dusk of many a cloudlike age and clime. 

No spirit in shape of light and darkness wrought, 
No faith, no fear, no dream, no rapture, nought 

That blooms in wisdom, nought that burns in crime, 

220 



THE DEATH OF ROBERT BROWNING 

No virtue girt and armed and helmed with light, 
No love more lovely than the snows are white, 

No serpent sleeping in some dead soul's tomb, 
No song-bird singing from some live soul's height, 
But he might hear, interpret, or illume 
With sense invasive as the dawn of doom. 



VI 

What secret thing of splendour or of shade 
Surmised in all those wandering ways wherein 
Man, led of love and life and death and sin, 

Strays, climbs, or cowers, allured, absorbed, afraid, 

Might not the strong and sunlike sense invade 
Of that full soul that had for aim to win 
Light, silent over time's dark toil and din, 

Life, at whose touch death fades as dead things fade ? 

O spirit of man, what mystery moves in thee 

That he might know not of in spirit, and see 
The heart within the heart that seems to strive, 

The life within the life that seems to be, 

And hear, through all thy storms that whirl and 

drive, 
The living sound of all men's souls alive? 

VII 

He held no dream worth waking: so he said, 

He who stands now on death's triumphal steep, 
Awakened out of life wherein we sleep 

And dream of what he knows and sees, being dead. 

But never death for him was dark or dread: 

221 



THE DEATH OF ROBERT BROWNING 

"Look forth" he bade the soul, and fear not. 
Weep, 

All ye that trust not in his truth, and keep 
Vain memory's vision of a vanished head 
As all that lives of all that once was he 
Save that which lightens from his word: but we, 

Who, seeing the sunset-coloured waters roll, 
Yet know the sun subdued not of the sea, 

Nor weep nor doubt that still the spirit is whole, 

And life and death but shadows of the soul. 

December 15. 



SUNSET AND MOONRISE 

NEW YEAR'S EVE, 1889 



ALL the west, whereon the sunset sealed the dead 

year's glorious grave 
Fast with seals of light and fire and cloud that 

light and fire illumine, 
Glows at heart and kindles earth and heaven with 

joyous blush and bloom, 
Warm and wide as life, and glad of death that only 

slays to save. 
As a tide-reconquered sea-rock lies aflush with the 

influent wave 
Lies the light aflush with darkness, lapped about 

by lustrous gloom, 
Even as life with death, and fame with time, and 

memory with the tomb 

Where a dead man hath for vassals Fame the serf 
and Time the slave. 

Far from earth as heaven, the steadfast light with- 
drawn, superb, suspense, 

Burns in dumb divine expansion of illimitable 
flower: 

223 



SUNSET AND MOONRISE 

Moonrise whets the shadow's edges keen as noon- 
tide: hence and thence 
Glows the presence from us passing, shines and 

passes not the power. 
Souls arise whose word remembered is as spirit 

within the sense: 

All the hours are theirs of all the seasons: death 
has but his hour. 






BIRTHDAY ODE 

AUGUST 6, 1891 



LOVE and praise, and a length of days whose 

shadow cast upon time is light, 
Days whose sound was a spell shed round from 

wheeling wings as of doves in flight, 
Meet in one, that the mounting sun to-day may 

triumph, and cast out night. 

Two years more than the full fourscore lay hallowing 

hands on a sacred head 
Scarce one score of the perfect four uncrowned of 

fame as they smiled and fled: 
Still and soft and alive aloft their sunlight stays 

though the suns be dead. 

Ere we were or were thought on, ere the love that 

gave us to life began, 
Fame grew strong with his crescent song, to greet 

the goal of the race they ran, 
Song with fame, and the lustrous name with years 

whose changes acclaimed the man. 

vi. 15 225 



BIRTHDAY ODE 

ii 

Soon, ere time in the rounding rhyme of choral 
seasons had hailed us men, 

We too heard and acclaimed the word whose breath 
was life upon England then 

Life more bright than the breathless light of sound- 
less noon in a songless glen. 

Ah, the joy of the heartstruck boy whose ear was 

opened of love to hear! 
Ah, the bliss of the burning kiss of song and spirit, 

the mounting cheer 
Lit with fire of divine desire and love that knew not 

if love were fear! 

Fear and love as of heaven above and earth en- 
kindled of heaven were one; 

One white flame, that around his name grew keen 
and strong as the worldwide sun; 

Awe made bright with implied delight, as weft with 
weft of the rainbow spun. 



in 

He that fears not the voice he hears and loves shall 
never have heart to sing: 

All the grace of the sun-god's face that bids the soul 
as a fountain spring 

Bids the brow that receives it bow, and hail his like- 
ness on earth as king. 
226 



BIRTHDAY ODE 

We that knew when the sun's shaft flew beheld and 

worshipped, adored and heard: 
Light rang round it of shining sound, whence all 

men's hearts were subdued and stirred: 
Joy, love, sorrow, the day, the morrow, took life 

upon them in one man's word. 

Not for him can the years wax dim, nor downward 

swerve on a darkening way: 
Upward wind they, and leave behind such light as 

lightens the front of May: 
Fair as youth and sublime as truth we find the fame 

that we hail to-day. 



THRENODY 
OCTOBER 6, 1892 



LIFE, sublime and serene when time had power upon 

it and ruled its breath, 
Changed it, bade it be glad or sad, and hear what 

change in the world's ear saith, 
Shines more fair in the starrier air whose glory 

lightens the dusk of death. 

Suns that sink on the wan sea's brink, and moons 

that kindle and flame and fade, 
Leave more clear for the darkness here the stars that 

set not and see not shade 
Rise and rise on the lowlier skies by rule of sunlight 

and moonlight swayed. 

So, when night for his eyes grew bright, his proud 
head pillowed on Shakespeare's breast, 

Hand in hand with him, soon to stand where shine 
the glories that death loves best, 

Passed the light of his face from sight, and sank 
sublimely to radiant rest. 
228 



THRENODY 

ii 

Far above us and all our love, beyond all reach of 

its voiceless praise, 
Shines for ever the name that never shall feel the 

shade of the changeful days 
Fall and chill the delight that still sees winter's light 

on it shine like May's. 

Strong as death is the dark day's breath whose blast 

has withered the life we see 
Here where light is the child of night, and less than 

visions or dreams are we: 
Strong as death; but a word, a breath, a dream is 

stronger than death can be. 

Strong as truth and superb in youth eternal, fair as 

the sundawn's flame 
Seen when May on her first-born day bids earth 

exult in her radiant name, 
Lives, clothed round with its praise and crowned 

with love that dies not, his love-lit fame. 



in 

Fairer far than the morning star, and sweet for us as 

the songs that rang 
Loud through heaven from the choral Seven when all 

the stars of the morning sang, 
Shines the song that we loved so long since first 

such love in us flamed and sprang. 
229 



THRENODY 

England glows as a sunlit rose from mead to moun- 
tain, from sea to sea, 

Bright with love and with pride above all taint of 
sorrow that needs must be, 

Needs must live for an hour, and give its rainbow's 
glory to lawn and lea. 

Not through tears shall the new-born years behold 
him, crowned with applause of men, 

Pass at last from a lustrous past to life that lightens 
beyond their ken, 

Glad and dead, and from earthward led to sunward, 
guided of Imogen. 



THE BALLAD OF MELICERTES 
IN MEMORY OF THEODORE DE BANVILLE 



DEATH, a light outshining life, bids heaven resume 
Star by star the souls whose light made earth 

divine. 

Death, a night outshining day, sees burn and bloom 
Flower by flower, and sun by sun, the fames that 

shine 
Deathless, higher than life beheld their sovereign 

sign. 

Dead Simonides of Ceos, late restored, 
Given again of God, again by man deplored, 
Shone but yestereve, a glory frail as breath. 
Frail? But fame's breath quickens, kindles, keeps 

in ward, 
Life so sweet as this that dies and casts off death. 

Mother's love and rapture of the sea, whose womb 

Breeds eternal life of joy that stings like brine, 
Pride of song, and joy to dare the singer's doom, 
Sorrow soft as sleep and laughter bright as wine, 
Flushed and filled with fragrant fire his lyric 
line. 

231 



THE BALLAD OF MELICERTES 

As the sea-shell utters, like a stricken chord, 
Music uttering all the sea's within it stored, 

Poet well-beloved, whose praise our sorrow saith 
So thy songs retain thy soul, and so record 

Life so sweet as this that dies and casts off death. 

Side by side we mourned at Gautier's golden tomb : 

Here in spirit now I stand and mourn at thine. 
Yet no breath of death strikes thence, no shadow of 

gloom, 
Only light more bright than gold of the inmost 

mine, 
Only steam of incense warm from love's own 

shrine. 

Not the darkling stream, the sundering Stygian ford, 
Not the hour that smites and severs as a sword, 

Not the night subduing light that perisheth, 
Smite, subdue, divide from us by doom abhorred, 
Life so sweet as this that dies and casts off 
death. 

Prince of song more sweet than honey, lyric lord, 
Not thy France here only mourns a light adored, 

One whose love-lit fame the world inheriteth. 
Strangers too, now brethren, hail with heart's accord 

Life so sweet as this that dies and casts off death. 



AU TOMBEAU DE BANVILLE 



LA plus douce des voix qui vibraient sous le ciel 
Se tait: les rossignols ai!6s pleurent le frere 
Qui s 'en vole au-dessus de 1'apre et sombre terre, 
Ne lui laissant plus voir que 1'etre essentiel, 

Esprit qui chante et rit, fleur d'une ame sans fiel. 
L 'ombre elyseenne, ou la nuit n'est que lumiere, 
Revoit, tout revetu de splendeur douce et fiere, 
Melicerte, poete a la bouche de miel. 

Dieux exile's, passants celestes de ce monde, 
Dont on entend parfois dans notre nuit profonde 
Vibrer la voix, fremir les ailes, vous savez 
S'il vous aima, s'il vous pleura, lui dont la vie 
Et le chant rappelaient les votres. Recevez 
L'ame de Melicerte affranchie et ravie. 



LIGHT: AN EPICEDE 
To PHILIP BOURKE MARSTON 



LOVE will not weep because the seal is broken 
That sealed upon a life beloved and brief 

Darkness, and let but song break through for token 
How deep, too far for even thy song's relief, 
Slept in thy soul the secret springs of grief. 

Thy song may soothe full many a soul hereafter, 

As tears, if tears will come, dissolve despair; 
As here but late, with smile more bright than 

laughter, 
Thy sweet strange yearning eyes would seem to 

bear 
Witness that joy might cleave the clouds of care. 

Two days agone, and love was one with pity 
When love gave thought wings toward the glim- 
mering goal 

Where, as a shrine lit in some darkling city, 
Shone soft the shrouded image of thy soul : 
And now thou art healed of life; thou art healed, 
and whole. 

234 



LIGHT: AN EPICEDE 

Yea, two days since, all we that loved thee pitied: 
And now with wondering love, with shame of 

face, 
We think how foolish now, how far unfitted, 

Should be from us, toward thee who hast run thy 

race, 

Pity toward thee, who hast won the painless 
place; 



The painless world of death, yet unbeholden 

Of eyes that dream what light now lightens thine 

And will not weep. Thought, yearning toward those 

olden 

Dear hours that sorrow sees and sees not shine, 
Bows tearless down before a nameless shrine: 



A flameless altar here of life and sorrow 

Quenched and consumed together. These were 

one, 

One thing for thee, as night was one with morrow 
And utter darkness with the sovereign sun: 
And now thou seest life, sorrow, and darkness 
done. 



And yet love yearns again to win thee hither; 
Blind love, and loveless, and unworthy thee: 

Here where I watch the hours of darkness wither, 
Here where mine eyes were glad and sad to see 
Thine -that could see not mine, though turned on 
me. 

2 35 



LIGHT: AN EPICEDE 

But now, if aught beyond sweet sleep lie hidden, 
And sleep be sealed not fast on dead men's sight 

For ever, thine hath grace for ours forbidden, 
And sees us compassed round with change and 

night : 
Yet light like thine is ours, if love be light. 



THRENODY 



WATCHING here alone by the fire whereat last year 
Sat with me the friend that a week since yet was 
near, 

That a week has borne so far and hid so deep, 

Woe am I that I may not weep, 

May not yearn to behold him here. 

Shame were mine, and little the love I bore him 

were, 
Now to mourn that better he fares than love may 

fare 
Which desires, and would not have indeed, its 

will, 

Would not love him so worse than ill, 
Would not clothe him again with care. 

Yet can love not choose but remember, hearts but 

ache, 
Eyes but darken, only for one vain thought's poor 

sake, 
For the thought that by this hearth's now lonely 

side 

Two fast friends, on the day he died, 
Looked once more for his hand to take. 
237 



THRENODY 

Let thy soul forgive them, and pardon heal the sin, 
Though their hearts be heavy to think what then 

had been, 

The delight that never while they live may be 
Love's communion of speech with thee, 
Soul and speech with the soul therein. 

O my friend, O brother, a glory veiled and marred! 

Never love made moan for a life more evil-starred. 
Was it envy, chance, or chance-compelling fate, 
Whence thy spirit was bruised so late, 
Bowed so heavily, bound so hard? 

Now released, it may be, if only love might 

know 
Filled and fired with sight, it beholds us blind and 

low 

With a pity keener yet, if that may be, 
Even than ever was this that we 
Felt, when love of thee wrought us woe. 

None may tell the depths and the heights of life and 

death. 
What we may we give thee: a word that sorrow 

saith, 
And that none will heed save sorrow: scarce a 

song. 

All we may, who have loved thee long, 
Take: the best we can give is breath. 



A DIRGE 



A BELL tolls on in my heart 

As though in my ears a knell 

Had ceased for a while to swell, 
But the sense of it would not part 
From the spirit that bears its part 

In the chime of the soundless bell. 

Ah dear dead singer of sorrow, 

The burden is now not thine 

That grief bade sound for a sign 
Through the songs of the night whose morrow 
Has risen, and I may not borrow 

A beam from its radiant shrine. 

The burden has dropped from thee 
That grief on thy life bound fast; 
The winter is over and past 

Whose end thou wast fain to see. 

Shall sorrow not comfort me 

That is thine no longer at last ? 
239 



A DIRGE 

Good day, good night, and good morrow, 
Men living and mourning say. 
For thee we could only pray 
That night of the day might borrow 
Such comfort as dreams lend sorrow: 
Death gives thee at last good day. 



A REMINISCENCE 



THE rose to the wind has yielded: all its leaves 
Lie strewn on the graveyard grass, and all their 

light 
And colour and fragrance leave our sense and 

sight 

Bereft as a man whom bitter time bereaves 
Of blossom at once and hope of garnered sheaves, 
Of April at once and August. Day to night 
Calls wailing, and life to death, and depth to 

height, 
And soul upon soul of man that hears and grieves. 

Who knows, though he see the snow-cold blossom 

shed, 

If haply the heart that burned within the rose, 
The spirit in sense, the life of life be dead ? 

If haply the wind that slays with storming snows 
Be one with the wind that quickens? Bow thine 

head, 

O Sorrow, and commune with thine heart: who 
knows ? 

VI. 16 



VIA DOLOROSA 



THE days of a man are threescore years and ten. 
The days of his life were half a man's, whom we 
Lament, and would yet not bid him back, to be 

Partaker of all the woes and ways of men. 

Life sent him enough of sorrow: not again 

Would anguish of love, beholding him set free, 
Bring back the beloved to suffer life and see 

No light but the fire of grief that scathed him then. 

We know not at all: we hope, and do not fear. 

We shall not again behold him, late so near, 
Who now from afar above, with eyes alight 

And spirit enkindled, haply toward us here 
Looks down unforgetful yet of days like night 
And love that has yet his sightless face in sight. 

February 15, 1887. 



i 

TRANSFIGURATION 



BUT half a man's days and his days were nights. 

What hearts were ours who loved him, should we 
pray, 

That night would yield him back to darkling day, 
Sweet death that soothes, to life that spoils and 

smites ? 
For now, perchance, life lovelier than the light's 

That shed no comfort on his weary way 

Shows him what none may dream to see or say 
Ere yet the soul may scale those topless heights 
Where death lies dead, and triumph. Haply there 

Already may his kindling eyesight find 
Faces of friends no face than his more fair 

And first among them found of all his kind 
Milton, with crowns from Eden on his hair, 

And eyes that meet a brother's now not blind. 



II 

DELIVERANCE 



O DEATH, fair Death, sole comforter and sweet, 
Nor Love nor Hope can give such gifts as thine. 
Sleep hardly shows us round thy shadowy shrine 

What roses hang, what music floats, what feet 

Pass and what wings of angels. We repeat 
Wild words or mild, disastrous or divine, 
Blind prayer, blind imprecation, seeing no sign 

Nor hearing aught of thee not faint and fleet 

As words of men or snowflakes on the wind. 

But if we chide thee, saying "Thou hast sinned, 
thou hast sinned, 

Dark Death, to take so sweet a light away 

As shone but late, though shadowed, in our skies," 

We hear thine answer "Night has given what day 
Denied him: darkness hath unsealed his eyes." 



Ill 

THANKSGIVING 



COULD love give strength to thank thee! Love can 

give 

Strong sorrow heart to suffer: what we bear 
We would not put away, albeit this were 
A burden love might cast aside and live. 
Love chooses rather pain than palliative, 

Sharp thought than soft oblivion. May we dare 
So trample down our passion and our prayer 
That fain would cling round feet now fugitive 
And stay them so remember, so forget, 
What joy we had who had his presence yet, 
What griefs were his while joy in him was ours 

And grief made weary music of his breath, 
As even to hail his best and last of hours 

With love grown strong enough to thank thee, 
Death ? 






IV 
LIBITINA VERTICORDIA 



SISTER of sleep, healer of life, divine 
As rest and strong as very love may be, 
To set the soul that love could set not free, 

To bid the skies that day could bid not shine, 

To give the gift that life withheld was thine. 
With all my heart I loved one borne from me: 
And all my heart bows down and praises thee, 

Death, that hast now made grief not his but mine. 

O Changer of men's hearts, we would not bid thee 
Turn back our hearts from sorrow: this alone 
We bid, we pray thee, from thy sovereign throne 

And sanctuary sublime where heaven has hid thee, 
Give: grace to know of those for whom we weep 
That if they wake their life is sweet as sleep. 



V 

THE ORDER OF RELEASE 



THOU canst not give it. Grace enough is ours 
To know that pain for him has fallen on rest. 
The worst we know was his on earth: the best, 
We fain would think, a thought no fear deflowers 
Is his, released from bonds of ray less hours. 

Ah, turn our hearts from longing; bid our quest 
Cease, as content with failure. This thy guest 
Sleeps, vexed no more of time's imperious powers, 
The spirit of hope, the spirit of change and loss, 
The spirit of love bowed down beneath his cross, 

Nor now needs comfort from the strength of song. 
Love, should he wake, bears now no cross for him: 
Dead hope, whose living eyes like his were dim, 
Has brought forth better comfort, strength more 
strong. 



VI 
PSYCHAGOGOS 



As Greece of old acclaimed thee God and man, 
So, Death, our tongue acclaims thee: yet wast thou 
Hailed of old Rome as Romans hail thee now, 

Goddess and woman. Since the sands first ran 

That told when first man's life and death began, 
The shadows round thy blind ambiguous brow 
Have mocked the votive plea, the pleading vow 

That sought thee sorrowing, fain to bless or ban. 

But stronger than a father's love is thine, 

And gentler than a mother's. Lord and God, 
Thy staff is surer than the wizard rod 

That Hermes bare as priest before thy shrine 
And herald of thy mercies. We could give 
Nought, when we would have given: thou bidst 
him live. 



VII 

THE LAST WORD 



So many a dream and hope that went and came, 
So many and sweet, that love thought like to be, 
Of hours as bright and soft as those for me 

That made our hearts for song's sweet love the same, 

Lie now struck dead, that hope seems one with 

shame. 

O Death, thy name is Love: we know it, and see 
The witness: yet for very love's sake we 

Can hardly bear to mix with thine his name. 

Philip, how hard it is to bid thee part 
Thou knowest, if aught thou knowest where now 
thou art 

Of us that loved and love thee. None may tell 
What none but knows how hard it is to say 
The word that seals up sorrow, darkens day, 

And bids fare forth the soul it bids farewell. 



IN MEMORY OF AURELIO SAFFI 



THE wider world of men that is not ours 

Receives a soul whose life on earth was light, 
Though darkness close the date of human hours, 
Love holds the spirit and sense of life in sight, 
That may not, even though death bid fly, take 

flight. 

Faith, love, and hope fulfilled with memory, see 
As clear and dear as life could bid it be 
The present soul that is and is not he. 

He, who held up the shield and sword of Rome 
Against the ravening brood of recreant France, 
Beside the man of men whom heaven took home 
When earth beheld the spring's first eyebeams 

glance 

And life and winter seemed alike a tranqe 
Eighteen years since, in sight of heaven and spring 
That saw the soul above all souls take wing, 
He too now hears the heaven we hear not sing. 

He too now dwells where death is dead, and stands 

Where souls like stars exult in life to be: 
Whence all who linked heroic hearts and hands 
Shine on our sight, and give it strength to see 
What hope makes fair for all whom faith makes 
free: 

250 






IN MEMORY OF AURELIO SAFFI 

Free with such freedom as we find in sleep, 

The light sweet shadow of death, when dreams are 

deep 
And high as heaven whence light and lightning leap. 

And scarce a month yet gone, his living hand 

Writ loving words that sealed me friend of his. 
Are heaven and earth as near as sea to strand ? 
May life and death as bride and bridegroom kiss ? 
His last month's written word abides, and is; 
Clear as the sun that lit through storm and strife 
And darkling days when hope took fear to wife 
The faith whose fire was light of all his life. 

A life so fair, so pure of earthlier leaven, 

That none hath won through higher and harder 

ways 

The deathless life of death which earth calls heaven ; 
Heaven, and the light of love on earth, and praise 
Of silent memory through subsiding days 
Wherein the light subsides not whence the past 
Feeds full with life the future. Time holds fast 
Their names whom faith forgets not, first and last. 

Forget? The dark forgets not dawn, nor we 
The suns that sink to rise again, and shine 
Lords of live years and ages. Earth and sea 
Forget not heaven that makes them seem divine, 
Though night put out their fires and bid their shrine 
Be dark and pale as storm and twilight. Day, 
Not night, is everlasting: life's full sway 
Bids death bow down as dead, and pass away. 

251 



IN MEMORY OF AURELIO SAFFI 

What part has death in souls that past all fear 

Win heavenward their supernal way, and smite 
With scorn sublime as heaven such dreams as 

here 

Plague and perplex with cloud and fire the light 
That leads men's waking souls from glimmering 

night 

To the awless heights of day, whereon man's awe, 
Transfigured, dies in rapture, seeing the law 
Sealed of the sun that earth arising saw ? 

Faith, justice, mercy, love, and heaven-born hate 
That sets them all on fire and bids them be 

More than soft words and dreams that wake too 

late, 

Shone living through the lordly life that we 
Beheld, revered, and loved on earth, while he 

Dwelt here, and bade our eyes take light thereof; 

Light as from heaven that flamed or smiled above 

In light or fire whose very hate was love. 

No hate of man, but hate of hate whose foam 
Sheds poison forth from tongues of snakes and 

priests, 
And stains the sickening air with steams whence 

Rome 
Now feeds not full the God that slays and 

feasts ; 

For now the fangs of all the ravenous beasts 
That ramped about him, fain of prayer and prey, 
Fulfil their lust no more: the tide of day 
Swells, and compels him down the deathward way. 

252 



IN MEMORY OF AURELIO SAFFI 

Night sucks the Church its creature down, and hell 
Yawns, heaves, and yearns to clasp its loathliest 

child 

Close to the breasts that bore it. All the spell 
Whence darkness saw the dawn in heaven defiled 
Is dumb as death: the lips that lied and smiled 
Wax white for fear as ashes. She that bore 
The banner up of darkness now no more 
Sheds night and fear and shame from shore to shore. 

When they that cast her kingdom down were born, 
North cried on south and east made moan to west 
For hopes that love had hardly heart to mourn, 
For Italy that was not. Kings on quest, 
By priests whose blessings burn as curses blest, 
Made spoil of souls and bodies bowed and bound, 
Hunted and harried, leashed as horse or hound, 
And hopeless of the hope that died unfound. 

And now that faith has brought forth fruit to time, 
How should not memory praise their names, and 
hold 

Their record even as Dante's life sublime, 

Who bade his dream, found fair and false of old, 
Live ? Not till earth and heaven be dead and cold 

May man forget whose work and will made one 

Italy, fair as heaven or freedom won, 

And left their fame to shine beside her sun. 

April 1890 



THE FESTIVAL OF BEATRICE 



DANTE, sole standing on the heavenward height, 
Beheld and heard one saying, "Behold me well: 
I am, I am Beatrice." Heaven and hell 

Kept silence, and the illimitable light 

Of all the stars was darkness in his sight 
Whose eyes beheld her eyes again, and fell 
Shame-stricken. Since her soul took flight to 
dwell 

In heaven, six hundred years have taken flight. 

And now that heavenliest part of earth whereon 
Shines yet their shadow as once their presence shone 

To her bears witness for his sake, as he 
For hers bare witness when her face was gone: 
No slave, no hospice now for grief but free 
From shore to mountain and from Alp to sea. 



THE MONUMENT OF GIORDANO BRUNO 



NOT from without us, only from within, 
Comes or can ever come upon us light 
Whereby the soul keeps ever truth in sight. 
No truth, no strength, no comfort man may win, 
No grace for guidance, no release from sin, 

Save of his own soul's giving. Deep and bright 
As fire enkindled in the core of night 
Burns in the soul where once its fire has been 
The light that leads and quickens thought, inspired 
To doubt and trust and conquer. So he said 
Whom Sidney, flower of England, lordliest head 
Of all we love, loved: but the fates required 
A sacrifice to hate and hell, ere fame 
Should set with his in heaven Giordano's name. 



ii 

Cover thine eyes and weep, O child of hell, 

Grey spouse of Satan, Church of name abhorred. 
Weep, withered harlot, with thy weeping lord, 
Now none will buy the heaven thou hast to sell 
At price of prostituted souls, and swell 

2 S5 



THE MONUMENT OF GIORDANO BRUNO 

Thy loveless list of lovers. Fire and sword 
No more are thine: the steel, the wheel, the cord, 
The flames that rose round living limbs, and fell 
In lifeless ash and ember, now no more 

Approve thee godlike. Rome, redeemed at last 
From all the red pollution of thy past, 
Acclaims the grave bright face that smiled of yore 
Even on the fire that caught it round and clomb 
To cast its ashes on the face of Rome. 

June 9, 1889 



LIFE IN DEATH 



HE should have followed who goes forth before us, 
Last born of us in life, in death first-born: 
The last to lift up eyes against the morn, 
The first to see the sunset. Life, that bore us 
Perchance for death to comfort and restore us, 
Of him hath left us here awhile forlorn, 
For him is as a garment overworn, 
And time and change, with suns and stars in chorus, 
Silent. But if, beyond all change or time, 
A law more just, more equal, more sublime 

Than sways the surge of life's loud sterile sea 
Sways that still world whose peace environs him, 
Where death lies dead as night when stars wax dim, 
Above all thought or hope of ours is he. 

August 2, 1891. 

VI. I? 



EPICEDE 



As a vesture shalt thou change them, said the 
prophet, 

And the raiment that was flesh is turned to dust ; 
Dust and flesh and dust again the likeness of it, 

And the fine gold woven and worn of youth is rust. 
Hours that wax and wane salute the shade and 
scoff it, 

That it knows not aught it doth nor aught it must: 
Day by day the speeding soul makes haste to doff it, 

Night by night the pride of life resigns its trust. 

Sleep, whose silent notes of song loud life's derange 

not, 

Takes the trust in hand awhile as angels may: 
Joy with wings that rest not, grief with wings that 

range not, 

Guard the gates of sleep and waking, gold or grey. 
Joys that joys estrange, and griefs that griefs es- 
trange not, 
Day that yearns for night, and night that yearns 

for day, 
As a vesture shalt thou change them, and they 

change not, 

Seeing that change may never change or pass 
away. 

258 



EPICEDE 

Life of death makes question, "What art thou that 

changest ? 
What am I, that fear should trust or faith should 

doubt ? 
I that lighten, thou that darkenest and estrangest, 

Is it night or day that girds us round about? 
Light and darkness on the ways wherein thou 

rangest 

Seem as one, and beams as clouds they put to rout. 
Strange is hope, but fear of all things born were 

strangest, 

Seeing that none may strive with change to cast 
it out. 

"Change alone stands fast, thou sayest, O death: 

I know not: 
What art thou, my brother death, that thou 

shouldst know? 
Men may reap no fruits of fields wherein they sow not ; 

Hope or fear is all the seed we have to sow. 
Winter seals the sacred springs up that they flow not : 
Wind and sun and change unbind them, and they 

flow. 

Am I thou or art thou I ? The years that show not 
Pass, and leave no sign when time shall be to 
show." 

Hope makes suit to faith lest fear give ear to sorrow: 
Doubt strews dust upon his head, and goes his 

way. 

All the golden hope that life of death would borrow, 
How, if death require again, may life repay? 
259 



EPICEDE 

Earth endures no darkness whence no light yearns 

thorough ; 

God in man as light in darkness lives, they say: 
Yet, would midnight take assurance of the morrow, 
Who shall pledge the faith or seal the bond of 
day? 

Darkness, mute or loud with music or with mourn- 
ing, 
Starry darkness, winged with wind or clothed with 

calm, 

Dreams no dream of grief or fear or wrath or warn- 
ing, 

Bears no sign of race or goal or strife or palm. 
Word of blessing, word of mocking or of scorning, 
Knows it none, nor whence its breath sheds blight 

or balm. 

Yet a little while, and hark, the psalm of morning: 
Yet a little while, and silence takes the psalm. 

All the comfort, all the worship, all the wonder, 

All the light of love that darkness holds in fee, 
All the song that silence keeps or keeps not under, 

Night, the soul that knows gives thanks for all to 

thee. 
Far beyond the gates that morning strikes in sunder, 

Hopes that grief makes holy, dreams that fear sets 

free, 
Far above the throne of thought, the lair of thunder, 

Silent shines the word whose utterance fills the sea. 



MEMORIAL VERSES ON THE 
DEATH OF WILLIAM BELL SCOTT 



A LIFE more bright than the sun's face, bowed 
Through stress of season and coil of cloud, 

Sets: arid the sorrow that casts out fear 
Scarce deems him dead in his chill still shroud, 

Dead on the breast of the dying year, 
Poet and painter and friend, thrice dear 

For love of the suns long set, for love 
Of song that sets not with sunset here, 

For love of the fervent heart, above 

Their sense who saw not the swift light move 

That filled with sense of the loud sun's lyre 
The thoughts that passion was fain to prove 

In fervent labour of high desire 

And faith that leapt from its own quenched pyre 

Alive and strong as the sun, and caught 
From darkness light, and from twilight fire. 

Passion, deep as the depths unsought 

Whence faith's own hope may redeem us nought, 

Filled full with ardour of pain sublime 
His mourning song and his mounting thought. 
261 



MEMORIAL VERSES 

Elate with sense of a sterner time, 

His hand's flight clomb as a bird's might climb 

Calvary: dark in the darkling air 
That shrank for fear of the crowning crime, 

Three crosses rose on the hillside bare, 
Shown scarce by grace of the lightning's glare 
That clove the veil of the temple through 
And smote the priests on the threshold there. 



The soul that saw it, the hand that drew, 
Whence light as thought's or as faith's glance flew, 

And stung to life the sepulchral past, 
And bade the stars of it burn anew, 

Held no less than the dead world fast 
The light live shadows about them cast, 

The likeness living of dawn and night, 
The days that pass and the dreams that last. 

Thought, ciothed round with sorrow as light, 
Dark as a cloud that the moon turns bright, 

Moved, as a wind on the striving sea, 
That yearns and quickens and flags in flight, 

Through forms of colour and song that he 
Who fain would have set its wide wings free 
Cast round it, clothing or chaining hope 
With lights that last not and shades that flee. 

262 



MEMORIAL VERSES 

Scarce in song could his soul find scope, 
Scarce the strength of his hand might ope 

Art's inmost gate of her sovereign shrine, 
To cope with heaven as a man may cope. 

But high as the hope of a man may shine 
The faith, the fervour, the life divine 

That thrills our life and transfigures, rose 
And shone resurgent, a sunb right sign, 



Through shapes whereunder the strong soul glows 
And fills them full as a sunlit rose 

With sense and fervour of life, whose light 
The fool's eye knows not, the man's eye knows. 

None that can read or divine aright 
The scriptures writ of the soul may slight 
The strife of a strenuous soul to show 
More than the craft of the hand may write. 

None may slight it, and none may know 
How high the flames that aspire and glow 

From heart and spirit and soul may climb 
And triumph; higher than the souls lie low 

Whose hearing hears not the livelong rhyme, 
Whose eyesight sees not the light sublime, 

That shines, that sounds, that ascends and lives 
Unquenched of change, unobscured of time. 

263 



MEMORIAL VERSES 

A long life's length, as a man's life gives 
Space for the spirit that soars and strives 

To strive and soar, has the soul shone through 
That heeds not whither the world's wind drives 

Now that the days and the ways it knew 
Are strange, are dead as the dawn's grey dew 

At high midnoon of the mounting day 
That mocks the might of the dawn it slew. 

Yet haply may not and haply may 
No sense abide of the dead sun's ray 

Wherein the soul that outsoars us now 
Rejoiced with ours in its radiant sway. 

Hope may hover, and doubt may bow, 
Dreaming. Haply they dream not how 
Not life but death may indeed be dead 
When silence darkens the dead man's brow. 

Hope, whose name is remembrance, fed 
With love that lightens from seasons fled, 

Dreams, and craves not indeed to know, 
That death and life are as souls that wed. 

But change that falls on the heart like snow 
Can chill not memory nor hope, that show 

The soul, the spirit, the heart and head, 
Alive above us who strive below. 



AN OLD SAYING 



MANY waters cannot quench love, 
Neither can the floods drown it. 

Who shall snare or slay the white dove 
Faith, whose very dreams crown it, 

Gird it round with grace and peace, deep, 

Warm, and pure, and soft as sweet sleep ? 

Many waters cannot quench love, 
Neither can the floods drown it. 

Set me as a seal upon thine heart, 

As a seal upon thine arm. 
How should we behold the days depart 

And the nights resign their charm? 
Love is as the soul: though hate and fear 
Waste and overthrow, they strike not here. 
Set me as a seal upon thine heart, 

As a seal upon thine arm. 



A MOSS-ROSE 



IF the rose of all flowers be the rarest 
That heaven may adore from above, 

And the fervent moss-rose be the fairest 
That sweetens the summer with love, 

Can it be that a fairer than any 
Should blossom afar from the tree? 

Yet one, and a symbol of many, 

Shone sudden for eyes that could see. 

In the grime and the gloom of November 

The bliss and the bloom of July 
Bade autumn rejoice and remember 

The balm of the blossoms gone by. 

Would you know what moss-rose now it may be 
That puts all the rest to the blush, 

The flower was the face of a baby, 
The moss was a bonnet of plush. 



TO A CAT 



STATELY, kindly, lordly friend, 

Condescend 

Here to sit by me, and turn 
Glorious eyes that smile and burn, 
Golden eyes, love's lustrous meed, 
On the golden page I read. 

All your wondrous wealth of hair, 

Dark and fair, 

Silken-shaggy, soft and bright 
As the clouds and beams of night, 
Pays my reverent hand's caress 
Back with friendlier gentleness. 

Dogs may fawn on all and some 

As they come; 

You, a friend of loftier mind, 
Answer friends alone in kind. 
Just your foot upon my hand 
Softly bids it understand. 
267 



TO A CAT 

Morning round this silent sweet 

Garden-seat 

Sheds its wealth of gathering light, 
Thrills the gradual clouds with might, 
Changes woodland, orchard, heath, 
Lawn, and garden there beneath. 

Fair and dim they gleamed below: 

Now they glow 

Deep as even your sunbright eyes, 
Fair as even the wakening skies. 
Can it not or can it be 
Now that you give thanks to see? 

May not you rejoice as I, 

Seeing the sky 

Change to heaven revealed, and bid 
Earth reveal the heaven it hid 
All night long from stars and moon, 
Now the sun sets all in tune ? 

What within you wakes with day 

Who can say ? 
All too little may we tell, 
Friends who like each other well, 
What might haply, if we might, 
Bid us read our lives aright. 



ii 

Wild on woodland ways your sires 
Flashed like fires; 
268 



TO A CAT 

Fair as flame and fierce and fleet 
As with wings on wingless feet 
Shone and sprang your mother, free, 
Bright and brave as wind or sea. 

Free and proud and glad as they, 

Here to-day 

Rests or roams their radiant child, 
Vanquished not, but reconciled, 
Free from curb of aught above 
Save the lovely curb of love. 

Love through dreams of souls divine 

Fain would shine 

Round a dawn whose light and song 
Then should right our mutual wrong- 
Speak, and seal the love-lit law 
Sweet Assisi's seer foresaw. 

Dreams were theirs; yet haply may 

Dawn a day 

When such friends and fellows born, 
Seeing our earth as fair at morn, 
May for wiser love's sake see 
More of heaven's deep heart than we. 



HAWTHORN DYKE 



ALL the golden air is full of balm and bloom 

Where the hawthorns line the shelving dyke with 

flowers. 

Joyous children born of April's happiest hours, 
High and low they laugh and lighten, knowing their 

doom 
Bright as brief to bless and cheer they know not 

whom, 
Heed not how, but washed and warmed with suns 

and showers 
Smile, and bid the sweet soft gradual banks and 

bowers 

Thrill with love of sunlit fire or starry gloom. 
All our moors and lawns all round rejoice; but here 
All the rapturous resurrection of the year 

Finds the radiant utterance perfect, sees the word 
Spoken, hears the light that speaks it. Far and 

near, 
All the world is heaven: and man and flower and 

bird 

Here are one at heart with all things seen and 
heard. 



THE BROTHERS 



THERE were twa brethren fell on strife; 

Sweet fruits are sair to gather: 
The tane has reft his brother of life; 

And the wind wears owre the heather. 

There were twa brethren fell to fray; 

Sweet fruits are sair to gather: 
The tane is clad in a cloak of clay; 

And the wind wears owre the heather. 

O loud and loud was the live man's cry, 

(Sweet fruits are sair to gather) 
"Would God the dead and the slain were I!" 

And the wind wears owre the heather. 

"O sair was the wrang and sair the fray," 

(Sweet fruits are sair to gather) 
"But liefer had love be slain than slay." 

And the wind wears owre the heather. 



"O sweet is the life that sleeps at hame," 
(Sweet fruits are sair to gather) 

"But I maun wake on a far sea's faem." 
And the wind wears owre the heather. 
271 



THE BROTHERS 

"And women are fairest of a' things fair." 
(Sweet fruits are sair to gather) 

"But never shall I kiss woman mair." 
And the wind wears owre the heather. 



Between the birk and the aik and the thorn 

(Sweet fruits are sair to gather) 
He's laid his brother to lie forlorn: 

And the wind wears owre the heather. 

i 

Between the bent and the burn and the broom 

(Sweet fruits are sair to gather) 
He's laid him to sleep till dawn of doom: 

And the wind wears owre the heather. 

He's tane him owre the waters wide, 

(Sweet fruits are sair to gather) 
Afar to fleet and afar to bide: 

And the wind wears owre the heather. 

His hair was yellow, his cheek was red, 

(Sweet fruits are sair to gather) 
When he set his face to the wind and fled: 

And the wind wears owre the heather. 

His banes were stark and his een were bright 

(Sweet fruits are sair to gather) 
When he set his face to the sea by night: 

And the wind wears owre the heather. 
272 



THE BROTHERS 

His cheek was wan and his hair was grey 

(Sweet fruits are sair to gather) 
When he came back hame frae the wide world's way 

And the wind wears owre the heather. 



His banes were weary, his een were dim, 
(Sweet fruits are sair to gather) 

And nae man lived and had mind of him: 
And the wind wears owre the heather. 



"O whatten a wreck wad they seek on land" 

(Sweet fruits are sair to gather) 
"That they houk the turf to the seaward hand?" 

And the wind wears owre the heather. 



O whatten a prey wad they think to take" 

(Sweet fruits are sair to gather) 
That they delve the dykes for a dead man's sake ?" 

And the wind wears owre the heather. 



A bane of the dead in his hand he's tane: 

Sweet fruits are sair to gather: 
And the red blood brak frae the dead white bane. 

And the wind wears owre the heather. 



He's cast it forth of his auld faint hand ; 

Sweet fruits are sair to gather: 
And the red blood ran on the wan wet sand. 

And the wind wears owre the heather. 

vi.- 18 273 



THE BROTHERS 

"O whatten a slayer is this," they said, 

(Sweet fruits are sair to gather) 
"That the straik of his hand should raise his dead?" 

And the wind wears owre the heather. 

"O weel is me for the sign I take" 

(Sweet fruits are sair to gather) 
"That now I may die for my auld sin's sake." 

And the wind wears owre the heather. 

"For the dead was in wait now fifty year," 

(Sweet fruits are sair to gather) 
"And now shall I die for his blood's sake here." 

And the wind wears owre the heather. 



JACOBITE SONG 



Now who will speak, and lie not, 
And pledge not life, but give? 

Slaves herd with herded cattle: 

The dawn grows bright for battle, 

And if we die, we die not; 
And if we live, we live. 

The faith our fathers fought for, 

The kings our fathers knew, 
We fight but as they fought for: 
We seek the goal they sought for, 

The chance they hailed and knew, 
The praise they strove and wrought for, 

To leave their blood as dew 

On fields that flower anew. 

Men live that serve the stranger; 

Hounds live that huntsmen tame: 
These life-days of our living 
Are days of God's good giving 
Where death smiles soft on danger 

And life scowls dark on shame. 

275 



JACOBITE SONG 

And what would you do other, 
Sweet wife, if you were I ? 

And how should you be other, 

My sister, than your brother, 
If you were man as I, 

Born of our sire and mother, 
With choice to cower and fly, 
And chance to strike and die? 

No churl's our oldworld name is, 

The lands we leave are fair: 
But fairer far than these are, 
But wide as all the seas are, 
But high as heaven the fame is 
That if we die we share. 

Our name the night may swallow, 
Our lands the churl may take: 

But night nor death may swallow, 

Nor hell's nor heaven's dim hollow, 
The star whose height we take, 

The star whose light we follow 
For faith's unfaltering sake 
Till hope that sleeps awake. 

Soft hope's light lure we serve not, 

Nor follow, fain to find: 
Dark time's last word may smite her 
Dead, ere man's falsehood blight her: 
But though she die, we swerve not, 

Who cast not eye behind. 
276 



JACOBITE SONG 

Faith speaks when hope dissembles: 
Faith lives when hope lies dead: 

If death as life dissembles, 

And all that night assembles 
Of stars at dawn lie dead, 

Faint hope that smiles and trembles 
May tell not well for dread: 
But faith has heard it said. 

Now who will fight, and fly not, 
And grudge not life to give? 

And who will strike beside us, 

If life's or death's light guide us? 

For if we live, we die not, 
And if we die, we live. 



THE BALLAD OF DEAD MEN'S BAY 



THE ^sea swings owre the slants of sand, 

All white with winds that drive; 
The sea swirls up to the still dim strand, 

Where nae man comes alive. 

At the grey soft edge of the fruitless surf 

A light flame sinks and springs; 
At the grey soft rim of the flowerless turf 

A low flame leaps and clings. 

What light is this on a sunless shore, 

What gleam on a starless sea? 
Was it earth's or hell's waste womb that bore 

Such births as should not be? 

As lithe snakes turning, as bright stars burning, 

They bicker and beckon and call; 
As wild waves churning, as wild winds yearning, 

They flicker and climb and fall. 

A soft strange cry from the landward rings 

"What ails the sea to shine?" 
A keen sweet note from the spray's rim springs 

"What fires are these of thine?" 
273 



THE BALLAD OF DEAD MEN'S BAY 

A soul am I that was born on earth 

For ae day's waesome span: 
Death bound me fast on the bourn of birth 

Ere I were christened man. 



"A light by night, I fleet and fare 
Till the day of wrath and woe; 

On the hems of earth and the skirts of air 
Winds hurl me to and fro." 



"O well is thee, though the weird be strange 

That bids thee flit and flee; 
For hope is child of the womb of change, 

And hope keeps watch with thee. 



"When the years are gone, and the time is come, 

God's grace may give thee grace; 
And thy soul may sing, though thy soul were dumb, 

And shine before God's face. 



"But I, that lighten and revel and roll 
With the foam of the plunging sea, 

No sign is mine of a breathing soul 
That God should pity me. 

"Nor death, nor heaven, nor hell, nor birth 

Hath part in me nor mine: 
Strong lords are these of the living earth 

And loveless lords of thine. 
279 



THE BALLAD OF DEAD MEN'S BAY 

"But I that know nor lord nor life 

More sure than storm or spray, 
Whose breath is made of sport and strife, 

Whereon shall I find stay?" 

"And wouldst thou change thy doom with me, 

Full fain with thee would I: 
For the life that lightens and lifts the sea 

Is more than earth or sky. 

. 
"And what if the day of doubt and doom 

Shall save nor smite not me ? 
I would not rise from the slain world's tomb 

If there be no more sea. 



"Take he my soul that gave my soul, 

And give it thee to keep; 
And me, while seas and stars shall roll 

Thy life that falls on sleep." 



That word went up through the mirk mid sky, 

And even to God's own ear: 
And the Lord was ware of the keen twin cry, 

And wroth was he to hear. 



He 's tane the soul of the unsained child 
That fled to death from birth ; 

He 's tane the light of the wan sea wild, 
And bid it burn on earth. 
280 



THE BALLAD OF DEAD MEN'S BAY 

He 's given the ghaist of the babe new-born 

The gift of the water-sprite, 
To ride on revel from morn to morn 

And roll from night to night. 

He 's given the sprite of the wild wan sea 

The gift of the new-born man, 
A soul for ever to bide and be 

When the years have filled their span. 

When a year was gone and a year was come, 

O loud and loud cried they 
"For the lee-lang year thou hast held us dumb 

Take now thy gifts away!" 

O loud and lang they cried on him, 

And sair and sair they prayed: 
"Is the face of thy grace as the night's face grim 

For those thy wrath has made?" 

A cry more bitter than tears of men 
From the rim of the dim grey sea; 

"Give me my living soul again, 
The soul thou gavest me, 

The doom and the dole of kindly men, 
To bide my weird and be!" 

A cry more keen from the wild low land 
Than the wail of waves that roll; 

"Take back the gift of a loveless hand, 
Thy gift of doom and dole, 

The weird of men that bide on land; 
Take from me, take my soul!" 
281 



THE BALLAD OF DEAD MEN'S BAY 

The hands that smite are the hands that spare ; 

They build and break the tomb; 
They turn to darkness and dust and air 

The fruits of the waste earth's womb; 
But never the gift of a granted prayer, 

The dole of a spoken doom. 

Winds may change at a word unheard, 

But none may change the tides: 
The prayer once heard is as God's own word; 

The doom once dealt abides. 

And ever a cry goes up by day, 

And ever a wail by night; 
And nae ship comes by the weary bay 
But her shipmen hear them wail and pray, 

And see with earthly sight 
The twofold flames of the twin lights play 
Where the sea-banks green and the sea-floods grey 
Are proud of peril and fain of prey, 
And the sand quakes ever; and ill fare they 

That look upon that light. 



DEDICATION 

1893 



THE sea of the years that endure not 
Whose tide shall endure till we die 

And know what the seasons assure not, 
If death be or life be a lie, 

Sways hither the spirit and thither, 
A waif in the swing of the sea 

Whose wrecks are of memories that whither 
As leaves of a tree. 

We hear not and hail not with greeting 
The sound of the wings of the years, 

The storm of the sound of them beating, 
That none till it pass from him hears: 

But tempest nor calm can imperil 
The treasures that fade not or fly; 

Change bids them not change and be sterile, 
Death bids them not die. 

Hearts plighted in youth to the royal 
High service of hope and of song, 

Sealed fast for endurance as loyal, 

And proved of the years as they throng, 
283 



DEDICATION 

Conceive not, believe not, and fear not 
That age may be other than youth; 
That faith and that friendship may hear not 
And utter not truth. 

Not yesterday's light nor to-morrow's 
Gleams nearer or clearer than gleams, 

Though joys be forgotten and sorrows 
Forgotten as changes of dreams, 

The dawn of the days unforgotten 
That noon could eclipse not or slay, 

Whose fruits were as children begotten 
Of dawn upon day. 

The years that were flowerful and fruitless, 
The years that were fruitful and dark, 

The hopes that were radiant and rootless, 
The hopes that were winged for their mark- 

Lie soft in the sepulchres fashioned 
Of hours that arise and subside, 

Absorbed and subdued and impassioned, 
In pain or in pride. 

But far in the night that entombs them 

The starshine as sunshine is strong, 
And clear through the cloud that resumes them 
Remembrance, a light and a song, 
Rings lustrous as music and hovers 
As birds that impend on the sea, 
And thoughts that their prison-house covers 
Arise and are free. 
284 



DEDICATION 

Forgetfulness deep as a prison 

Holds days that are dead for us fast 

Till the sepulchre sees rearisen 
The spirit whose reign is the past, 

Disentrammelled of darkness, and kindled 
With life that is mightier than death, 

When the life that obscured it has dwindled 
And passed as a breath. 

But time nor oblivion may darken 

Remembrance whose name will be joy 

While memory forgets not to hearken, 
While manhood forgets not the boy 

Who heard and exulted in hearing 
The songs of the sunrise of youth 

Ring radiant above him, unf earing 
And joyous as truth. 

Truth, winged and enkindled with rapture 
And sense of the radiance of yore, 

Fulfilled you with power to recapture 
What never might singer before 

The life, the delight, and the sorrow 
Of troublous and chivalrous years 

That knew not of night or of morrow, 
Of hopes or of fears. 



But wider the wing and the vision 
That quicken the spirit have spread 

Since memory beheld with derision 
Man's hope to be more than his dead. 

285 



DEDICATION 

From the mists and the snows and the thunders 

Your spirit has brought for us forth 
Light, music, and joy in the wonders 
And charms of the north. 

The wars and the woes and the glories 
That quicken and lighten and rain 

From the clouds of its chronicled stories, 
The passion, the pride, and the pain, 

Whose echoes were mute and the token 
Was lost of the spells that they spake, 

Rise bright at your bidding, unbroken 
Of ages that break. 

For you, and for none of us other, 
Time is not: the dead that must live 

Hold commune with you as a brother 
By grace of the life that you give. 

The heart that was in them is in you, 
Their soul in your spirit endures: 

The strength of their song is the sinew 
Of this that is yours. 

Hence is it that life, everlasting 
As light and as music, abides 
In the sound of the surge of it, casting 
Sound back to the surge of the tides, 
Till sons of the sons of the Norsemen 

Watch, hurtling to windward and lee, 
Round England, unbacked of her horsemen, 
The steeds of the sea. 
286 



A CHANNEL PASSAGE 



AND OTHER POEMS 



IN MEMORY 
OF 

WILLIAM MORRIS 

AND 

EDWARD BURNE JONES 



A CHANNEL PASSAGE 



FORTH from Calais, at dawn of night, when sunset 

summer on autumn shone, 
Fared the steamer alert and loud through seas 

whence only the sun was gone: 
Soft and sweet as the sky they smiled, and bade 

man welcome: a dim sweet hour 
Gleamed and whispered in wind and sea, and heaven 

was fair as a field in flower. 
Stars fulfilled the desire of the darkling world as 

with music: the starbright air 
Made the face of the sea, if aught may make the 

face of the sea, more fair. 

Whence came change ? Was the sweet night weary 

of rest ? What anguish awoke in the dark ? 
Sudden, sublime, the strong storm spake: we heard 

the thunders as hounds that bark. 
Lovelier if aught may be lovelier than stars, we saw 

the lightnings exalt the sky, 
Living and lustrous and rapturous as love that is 

born but to quicken and lighten and die. 

2QI 



A CHANNEL PASSAGE 

Heaven's own heart at its highest of delight found 
utterance in music and semblance in fire: 

Thunder on thunder exulted, rejoicing to live and 
to satiate the night's desire. 

And the night was alive and anhungered of life as a 

tiger from toils cast free: 
And a rapture of rage made joyous the spirit and 

strength of the soul of the sea. 
All the weight of the wind bore down on it, freighted 

with death for fraught: 
And the keen waves kindled and quickened as 

things transfigured or things distraught. 
And madness fell on them laughing and leaping; 

and madness came on the wind: 
And the might and the light and the darkness of 

storm were as storm in the heart of Ind. 
Such glory, such terror, such passion, as lighten 

and harrow the far fierce East, 
Rang, shone, spake, shuddered around us : the night 

was an altar with death for priest. 
The channel that sunders England from shores where 

never was man born free 
Was clothed with the likeness and thrilled with the 

strength and the wrath of a tropic sea. 
As a wild steed ramps in rebellion, and rears till it 

swerves from a backward fall, 
The strong ship struggled and reared, and her deck 

was upright as a sheer cliff's wall. 
Stern and prow plunged under, alternate: a glimpse, 

a recoil, a breath, 
And she sprang as the life in a god made man 

would spring at the throat of death. 
292 



A CHANNEL PASSAGE 

Three glad hours, and it seemed not an hour of 

supreme and supernal joy, 
Filled full with delight that revives in remembrance 

a sea-bird's heart in a boy. 
For the central crest of the night was cloud that 

thundered and flamed, sublime 
As the splendour and song of the soul everlasting 

that quickens the pulse of time. 
The glory beholden of man in a vision, the music of 

light overheard, 
The rapture and radiance of battle, the life that 

abides in the fire of a word, 
In the midmost heaven enkindled, was manifest 

far on the face of the sea, 
And the rage in the roar of the voice of the waters 

was heard but when heaven breathed free. 
Far eastward, clear of the covering of cloud, the 

sky laughed out into light 
From the rims of the storm to the sea's dark edge 

with flames that were flowerlike and white. 
The leaping and luminous blossoms of live sheet 

lightning that laugh as they fade 
From the cloud's black base to the black wave's 

brim rejoiced in the light they made. 
Far westward, throned in a silent sky, where life was 

in lustrous tune, 
Shone, sweeter and surer than morning or evening, 

the steadfast smile of the moon. 
The limitless heaven that enshrined them was love- 
lier than dreams may behold, and deep 
As life or as death, revealed and transfigured, may 

shine on the soul through sleep. 
293 



A CHANNEL PASSAGE 

All glories of toil and of triumph and passion and 

pride that it yearns to know 
Bore witness there to the soul of its likeness and 

kinship, above and below. 
The joys of the lightnings, the songs of the thunders, 

the strong sea's labour and rage, 
Were tokens and signs of the war that is life and is 

joy for the soul to wage. 
No thought strikes deeper or higher than the heights 

and the depths that the night made bare, 
Illimitable, infinite, awful and joyful, alive in the 

summit of air 

Air stilled and thrilled by the tempest that thun- 
dered between its reign and the sea's, 
Rebellious, rapturous, and transient as faith or as 

terror that bows men's knees. 

No love sees loftier and fairer the form of its god- 
like vision in dreams 
Than the world shone then, when the sky and the 

sea were as love for a breath's length seems 
One utterly, mingled and mastering and mastered 

and laughing with love that subsides 
As the glad mad night sank panting and satiate 

with storm, and released the tides. 
In the dense mid channel the steam-souled ship 

hung hovering, assailed and withheld 
As a soul born royal, if life or if death be against 

it, is thwarted and quelled. 
As the glories of myriads of glowworms in lustrous 

grass on a boundless lawn 
Were the glories of flames phosphoric that made of 

the water a light like dawn. 
294 



A CHANNEL PASSAGE 

A thousand Phosphors, a thousand Hespers, awoke 

in the churning sea, 
And the swift soft hiss of them living and dying 

was clear as a tune could be; 
As a tune that is played by the fingers of death on 

the keys of life or of sleep, 
Audible alway alive in the storm, too fleet for a 

dream to keep: 
Too fleet, too sweet for a dream to recover and 

thought to remember awake: 

Light subtler and swifter than lightning, that whis- 
pers and laughs in the live storm's wake, 
In the wild bright wake of the storm, in the dense 

loud heart of the labouring hour, 
A harvest of stars by the storm's hand reaped, each 

fair as a star-shaped flower. 
And sudden and soft as the passing of sleep is the 

passing of tempest seemed 
When the light and the sound of it sank, and the 

glory was gone as a dream half dreamed. 
The glory, the terror, the passion that made of the 

midnight a miracle, died, 
Not slain at a stroke, nor in gradual reluctance 

abated of power and of pride; 
With strong swift subsidence, awful as power that 

is wearied of power upon earth, 
As a God that were wearied of power upon heaven, 

and were fain of a new God's birth, 
The might of the night subsided: the tyranny kin- 
dled in darkness fell: 
And the sea and the sky put off them the rapture 

and radiance of heaven and of hell. 
295 



A CHANNEL PASSAGE 

The waters, heaving and hungering at heart, made 
way, and were wellnigh fain, 

For the ship that had fought them, and wrestled, 
and revelled in labour, to cease from her pain. 

And an end was made of it : only remembrance en- 
dures of the glad loud strife; 

And the sense that a rapture so royal may come 
not again in the passage of life. 



THE LAKE OF GAUBE 



THE sun is lord and god, sublime, serene, 

And sovereign on the mountains: earth and air 
Lie prone in passion, blind with bliss unseen 
By force of sight and might of rapture, fair 
As dreams that die and know not what they were. 
The lawns, the gorges, and the peaks, are one 
Glad glory, thrilled with sense of unison 
In strong compulsive silence of the sun. 

Flowers dense and keen as midnight stars aflame 
And living things of light like flames in flower 
That glance and flash as though no hand might tame 
Lightnings whose life outshone their stormlit hour 
And played and laughed on earth, with all their 

power 

Gone, and with all their joy of life made long 
And harmless as the lightning life of song, 
Shine sweet like stars when darkness feels them 
strong. 

The deep mild purple flaked with moonbright gold 
That makes the scales seem flowers of hardened 
light, 

297 



THE LAKE OF GAUBE 

The flamelike tongue, the feet that noon leaves 

cold, 

The kindly trust in man, when once the sight 
Grew less than strange, and faith bade fear take 

flight, 

Outlive the little harmless life that shone 
And gladdened eyes that loved it, and was gone 
Ere love might fear that fear had looked thereon. 

Fear held the bright thing hateful, even as fear, 
Whose name is one with hate and horror, saith 

That heaven, the dark deep heaven of water near, 
Is deadly deep as hell and dark as death. 
The rapturous plunge that quickens blood and 
breath 

With pause more sweet than passion, ere they 
strive 

To raise again the limbs that yet would dive 

Deeper, should there have slain the soul alive. 

As the bright salamander in fire of the noonshine 
exults and is glad of his day, 

The spirit that quickens my body rejoices to pass 
from the sunlight away, 

To pass from the glow of the mountainous flower- 
age, the high multitudinous bloom, 

Far down through the fathomless night of the water, 
the gladness of silence and gloom. 

Death-dark and delicious as death in the dream of 
a lover and dreamer may be, 

It clasps and encompasses body and soul with de- 
light to be living and free: 
298 



THE LAKE OF GAUBE 

Free utterly now, though the freedom endure but 

the space of a perilous breath, 
And living, though girdled about with the darkness 

and coldness and strangeness of death: 
Each limb and each pulse of the body rejoicing, 

each nerve of the spirit at rest, 
All sense of the soul's life rapture, a passionate 

peace in its blindness blest. 
So plunges the downward swimmer, embraced of 

the water unfathomed of man, 
The darkness unplummeted, icier than seas in mid- 
winter, for blessing or ban; 
And swiftly and sweetly, when strength and breath 

fall short, and the dive is done, 
Shoots up as a shaft from the dark depth shot, 

sped straight into sight of the sun; 
And sheer through the snow-soft water, more dark 

than the roof of the pines above, 
Strikes forth, and is glad as a bird whose flight is 

impelled and sustained of love. 
As a sea-mew's love of the sea-wind breasted and 

ridden for rapture's sake 
Is the love of his body and soul for the darkling 

delight of the soundless lake: 
As the silent speed of a dream too living to live for 

a thought's space more 
Is the flight of his limbs through the still strong 

chill of the darkness from shore to shore. 
Might life be as this is and death be as life that 

casts off time as a robe, 

The likeness of infinite heaven were a symbol re- 
vealed of the lake of Gaube. 

299 * 



THE LAKE OF GAUBE 

Whose thought has fathomed and measured 

The darkness of life and of death, 
The secret within them treasured, 

The spirit that is not breath ? 
Whose vision has yet beholden 

The splendour of death and of life? 
Though sunset as dawn be golden, 

Is the word of them peace, not strife? 
Deep silence answers: the glory 

We dream of may be but a dream, 
And the sun of the soul wax hoary 

As ashes that show not a gleam. 
But well shall it be with us ever 

Who drive through the darkness here, 
If the soul that we live by never, 

For aught that a lie saith, fear. 



THE PROMISE OF THE HAWTHORN 



SPRING sleeps and stirs and trembles with desire 

Pure as a babe's that nestles toward the breast. 
The world, as yet an all unstricken lyre, 

With all its chords alive and all at rest, 
Feels not the sun's hand yet, but feels his breath 

And yearns for love made perfect. Man and bird, 
Thrilled through with hope of life that casts out 
death, 

Wait with a rapturous patience till his word 
Speak heaven, and flower by flower and tree by tree 

Give back the silent strenuous utterance. Earth, 
Alive awhile and joyful as the sea, 

Laughs not aloud in joy too deep for mirth, 
Presageful of perfection of delight, 
Till all the unborn green buds be born in white. 



HAWTHORN TIDE 



DAWN is alive in the world, and the darkness of 
heaven and of earth 

Subsides in the light of a smile more sweet than the 
loud noon's mirth, 

Spring lives as a babe lives, glad and divine as the 
sun, and unsure 

If aught so divine and so glad may be worshipped 
and loved and endure. 

A soft green glory suffuses the love-lit earth with 
delight, 

And the face of the noon is fair as the face of the 
star-clothed night. 

Earth knows not and doubts not at heart of the 
glories again- to be: 

Sleep doubts not and dreams not how sweet shall 
the waking beyond her be. 

A whole white world of revival awaits May's whis- 
per awhile, 

Abides and exults in the bud as a soft hushed laugh 
in a smile. 

As a maid's mouth laughing with love and subdued 
for the love's sake, May 

Shines and withholds for a little the word she re- 
vives to say. 

302 



HAWTHORN TIDE 

When the clouds and the winds and the sunbeams 
are warring and strengthening with joy that 
they live, 
Spring, from reluctance enkindled to rapture, 

from slumber to strife, 
Stirs, and repents, and is winter, and weeps, and 

awakes as the frosts forgive, 
And the dark chill death of the woodland is 

troubled, and dies into life. 
And the honey of heaven, of the hives whence night 

feeds full on the springtide's breath, 
Fills fuller the lips of the lustrous air with delight 

in the dawn: 
Each blossom enkindling with love that is life and 

subsides with a smile into death 
Arises and lightens and sets as a star from her 

sphere withdrawn. 
Not sleep, in the rapture of radiant dreams, when 

sundawn smiles on the night, 
Shows earth so sweet with a splendour and fra- 
grance of life that is love: 
Each blade of the glad live grass, each bud that 

receives or rejects the light, 

Salutes and responds to the marvel of Maytime 
around and above. 

Joy gives thanks for the sight and the savour of 

heaven, and is humbled 
With awe that exults in thanksgiving : the towers 

of the flowers of the trees 

Shine sweeter than snows that the hand of the sea- 
son has melted and crumbled, 
303 



HAWTHORN TIDE 

And fair as the foam that is lesser of life than the 

loveliest of these. 
But the sense of a life more lustrous with joy and 

enkindled of glory 
Than man's was ever or may be, and briefer than 

joys most brief, 
Bids man's heart bend and adore, be the man's 

head golden or hoary, 
As it leapt but a breath's time since and saluted 

the flower and the leaf. 
The rapture that springs into love at the sight of 

the world's exultation 
Takes not a sense of rebuke from the sense of 

triumphant awe: 
But the spirit that quickens the body fulfils it with 

mute adoration, 

And the knees would fain bow down as the eyes 
that rejoiced and saw. 

ii 

Fair and sublime as the face of the dawn is the 

splendour of May, 
But the sky's and the sea's joy fades not as earth's 

pride passes away. 
Yet hardly the sun's first lightning or laughter of 

love on the sea 
So humbles the heart into worship that knows not 

or doubts if it be 
As the first full glory beholden again of the life 

new-born 
That hails and applauds with inaudible music the 

season of morn. 

304 



HAWTHORN TIDE 

A day's length since, and it was not : a night's length 

more, and the sun 
Salutes and enkindles a world of delight as a strange 

world won. 
A new life answers and thrills to the kiss of the 

young strong year, 
And the glory we see is as music we hear not, and 

dream that we hear. 
From blossom to blossom the live tune kindles, from 

tree to tree, 
And we know not indeed if we hear not the song 

of the life we see. 



For the first blithe day that beholds it and worships 

and cherishes cannot but sing 
With a louder and lustier delight in the sun and 

the sunlit earth 
Than the joy of the days that beheld but the soft 

green dawn of the slow faint spring 
Glad and afraid to be glad, and subdued in a 

shamefast mirth. 
When the first bright knoll of the woodland world 

laughs out into fragrant light, 
The year's heart changes and quickens with sense 

of delight in desire, 
And the kindling desire is one with thanksgiving 

for utter fruition of sight, 
For sight and for sense of a world that the sun 

finds meet for his lyre. 
Music made of the morning that smites from the 

chords of the mute world song 
vi. 20 305 



HAWTHORN TIDE 

Trembles and quickens and lightens, unfelt,un- 

beholden, unheard, 
From blossom on blossom that climbs and exults in 

the strength of the sun grown strong, 
And answers the word of the wind of the spring 

with the sun's own word. 



Hard on the skirt of the deep soft copses that spring 

refashions, 
Triumphs and towers to the height of the crown 

of a wild wood tree 
One royal hawthorn, sublime and serene as the joy 

that impassions 
Awe that exults in thanksgiving for sight of the 

grace we see, 
The grace that is given of a god that abides for a 

season, mysterious 

And merciful, fervent and fugitive, seen and un- 
known and adored: 
His presence is felt in the light and the fragrance, 

elate and imperious, 
His laugh and his breath in the blossom are love's, 

the beloved soul's lord. 
For surely the soul if it loves is beloved of the god 

as a lover 
Whose love is not all unaccepted, a worship not 

utterly vain: 
So full, so deep is the joy that revives for the soul 

to recover 

Yearly, beholden of hope and of memory in sun- 
shine and rain. 

306 



HAWTHORN TIDE 

in 

Wonder and love stand silent, stricken at heart and 
stilled. 

But yet is the cup of delight and of worship un- 
pledged and unfilled. 

A handsbreadth hence leaps up, laughs out as an 
angel crowned, 

A strong full fountain of flowers overflowing above 
and around. 

The boughs and the blossoms in triumph salute with 
adoring mirth 

The womb that bare them, the glad green mother, 
the sunbright earth. 

Downward sweeping, as song subsides into silence, 
none 

May hear what sound is the word's they speak to 
the brooding sun. 

None that hearken may hear: man may but pass 
and adore, 

And humble his heart in thanksgiving for joy that 
is now no more. 

And sudden, afront and ahead of him, joy is alive 
and aflame 

On the shrine whose incense is given of the god- 
head, again the same. 



Pale and pure as a maiden secluded in secret and 

cherished with fear, 

One sweet glad hawthorn smiles as it shrinks under 
shelter, screened 

307 



HAWTHORN TIDE 

By two strong brethren whose bounteous blossom 

outsoars it, year after year, 
While earth still cleaves to the live spring's breast 

as a babe unweaned. 
Never was amaranth fairer in fields where heroes 

of old found rest, 

Never was asphodel sweeter: but here they en- 
dure not long, 
Though ever the sight that salutes them again and 

adores them awhile is blest, 
And the heart is a hymn, and the sense is a soul, 

and the soul is a song. 
Alone on a dyke's trenched edge, and afar from 

the blossoming wildwood's verge, 
Laughs and lightens a sister, triumphal in love-lit 

pride; 
Clothed round with the sun, and inviolate: her 

blossoms exult as the springtide surge, 
When the wind and the dawn enkindle the snows 
of the shoreward tide. 

Hardly the worship of old that rejoiced as it knelt 

in the vision 
Shown of the God new-born whose breath is the 

spirit of spring 
Hailed ever with love more strong and defiant of 

death's derision 
A joy more perfect than here we mourn for as 

May takes wing. 
Time gives it and takes it again and restores it: 

the glory, the wonder, 

The triumph of lustrous blossom that makes of 
the steep sweet bank 
308 



HAWTHORN TIDE 

One visible marvel of music inaudible, over and 

under, 
Attuned as in heaven, pass hence and return for 

the sun to thank. 

The stars and the sun give thanks for the glory be- 
stowed and beholden, 
For the gladness they give and rejoice in, the 

night and the dawn and the day: 
But nought they behold when the world is aflower 

and the season is golden 

Makes answer as meet and as sweet as the flower 
that itself is May. 



THE PASSING OF THE HAWTHORN 



THE coming of the hawthorn brings on earth 
Heaven: all the spring speaks out in one sweet 

word, 

And heaven grows gladder, knowing that earth 
has heard. 

Ere half the flowers are jubilant in birth, 

The splendour of the laughter of their mirth 
Dazzles delight with wonder: man and bird 
Rejoice and worship, stilled at heart and stirred 

With rapture girt about with awe for girth. 

The passing of the hawthorn takes away 

Heaven: all the spring falls dumb, and all the soul 

Sinks down in man for sorrow. Night and day 
Forego the joy that made them one and whole. 

The change that falls on every starry spray 

Bids, flower by flower, the knell of springtime toll. 



TO A BABY KINSWOMAN 



LOVE, whose light thrills heaven and earth, 
Smiles and weeps upon thy birth, 
Child, whose mother's love-lit eyes 
Watch thee but from Paradise. 
Sweetest sight that earth can give, 
Sweetest light of eyes that live, 
Ours must needs, for hope withdrawn, 
Hail with tears thy soft spring dawn. 
Light of hope whose star hath set, 
Light of love whose sun lives yet, 
Holier, happier, heavenlier love 
Breathes about thee, burns above, 
Surely, sweet, than ours can be, 
Shed from eyes we may not see, 
Though thine own may see them shine 
Night and day, perchance, on thine. 
Sun and moon that lighten earth 
Seem not fit to bless thy birth: 
Scarce the very stars we know 
Here seem bright enough to show 
Whence in unimagined skies 
Glows the vigil of such eyes. 



TO A BABY KINSWOMAN 

Theirs whose heart is as a sea 
Swoln with sorrowing love of thee 
Fain would share with thine the sight 
Seen alone of babes aright, 
Watched of eyes more sweet than flowers 
Sleeping or awake: but ours 
Can but deem or dream or guess 
Thee not wholly motherless. 
Might they see or might they know 
What nor faith nor hope may show, 
We whose hearts yearn toward thee now 
Then were blest and wise as thou. 
Had we half thy knowledge, had 
Love such wisdom, grief were glad, 
Surely, lit by grace of thee; 
Life were sweet as death may be. 
Now the law that lies on men 
Bids us mourn our dead: but then 
Heaven and life and earth and death, 
Quickened as by God's own breath, 
All were turned from sorrow and strife: 
Earth and death were heaven and life. 
All too far are then and now 
Sundered: none may be as thou. 
Yet this grace is ours a sign 
Of that goodlier grace of thine, 
Sweet, and thine alone to see 
Heaven, and heaven's own love, in thee. 
Bless them, then, whose eyes caress 
Thee, as only thou canst bless. 
Comfort, faith, assurance, love, 
Shine around us, brood above, 
312 



TO A BABY KINSWOMAN 

Fear grows hope, and hope grows wise, 
Thrilled and lit by children's eyes. 
Yet in ours the tears unshed, 
Child, for hope that death leaves dead, 
Needs must burn and tremble; thou 
Knowest not, seest not, why nor how, 
More than we know whence or why 
Comes on babes that laugh and He 
Half asleep, in sweet -lipped scorn, 
Light of smiles out lightening morn, 
Whence enkindled as is earth 
By the dawn's less radiant birth 
All the body soft and sweet 
Smiles on us from face to feet 
When the rose-red hands would fain 
Reach the rose-red feet in vain. 
Eyes and hands that worship thee 
Watch and tend, adore and see 
All these heavenly sights, and give 
Thanks to see and love and live. 
Yet, of all that hold thee dear, 
Sweet, the dearest smiles not here. 
Thine alone is now the grace, 
Haply, still to see her face; 
Thine, thine only now the sight 
Whence we dream thine own takes light. 
Yet, though faith and hope live blind, 
Yet they live in heart and mind 
Strong and keen as truth may be: 
Yet, though blind as grief were we 
Inly for a weeping- while, 
Sorrow's self before thy smile 



TO A BABY KINSWOMAN 

Smiles and softens, knowing that yet, 
Far from us though heaven be set, 
Love, bowed down for thee to bless, 
Dares not call thee motherless. 

May 1894. 



THE ALTAR OF RIGHTEOUSNESS 



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THE ALTAR OF RIGHTEOUSNESS 



LIGHT and night, whose clouds and glories change 

and mingle and divide, 
Veil the truth whereof they witness, show the truth 

of things they hide. 
Through the darkness and the splendour of the 

centuries, loud or dumb, 
Shines and wanes and shines the spirit, lit with love 

of life to come. 
Man, the soul made flesh, that knows not death 

from life, and fain would know, 
Sees the face of time change colour as its tides 

recoil and flow. 
All his hope and fear and faith and doubt, if aught 

at all they be, 
Live the life of clouds and sunbeams, born of heaven 

or earth or sea. 
All are buoyed and blown and brightened by their 

hour's evasive breath: 
All subside and quail and darken when their hour 

is done to death. 
Yet, ere faith, a wandering water, froze and curdled 

into creeds, 

Earth, elate as heaven, adored the light that quick- 
ens dreams to deeds. 



THE ALTAR OF RIGHTEOUSNESS 

Invisible: eye hath not seen it, and ear hath not 

heard as the spirit hath heard 
From the shrine that is lit not of sunlight or starlight 

the sound of a limitless word. 
And visible : none that hath eyes to behold what the 

spirit must perish or see 
Can choose but behold it and worship : a shrine that 

if light were as darkness would be. 
Of cloud and of change is the form of the fashion 

that man may behold of it wrought: 
Of iron and truth is the mystic mid altar, where 

worship is none but of thought. 
No prayer may go up to it, climbing as incense of 

gladness or sorrow may climb: 
No rapture of music may ruffle the silence that 

guards it, and hears not of time. 
As the winds of the wild blind ages alternate in 

passion of light and of cloud, 
So changes the shape of the veil that enshrouds it 

with darkness and light for a shroud. 
And the winds and the clouds and the suns fall 

silent, and fade out of hearing or sight, 
And the shrine stands fast and is changed not, whose 

likeness was changed as a cloud in the night. 

All the storms of time, and wrath of many winds, 
may carve no trace 

On the viewless altar, though the veil bear many 
a name and face: 

Many a live God's likeness woven, many a script- 
ure dark with awe, 

Bids the veil seem verier iron than the word of 
life's own law. 



THE ALTAR OF RIGHTEOUSNESS 

Till the might of change hath rent it with a rush- 
ing wind in twain, 
Stone or steel it seems, whereon the wrath of 

chance is wreaked in vain: 
Stone or steel, and all behind it or beyond its 

lifted sign 
Cloud and vapour, no subsistence of a change- 

unstricken shrine. 
God by god flits past in thunder, till his glories 

turn to shades: 
God to god bears wondering witness how his 

gospel flames and fades. 
More was each of these, while yet they were, than 

man their servant seemed: 
Dead are all of these, and man survives who made 

them while ho dreamed. 

Yet haply or surely, if vision were surer than theirs 
who rejoiced that they saw, 

Man might not but see, through the darkness of 
godhead, the light that is surety and law. 

On the stone that the close-drawn cloud which veils 
it awhile makes cloudlike stands 

The word of the truth everlasting, unspoken of 
tongues and unwritten of hands. 

By the sunbeams and storms of the centuries en- 
graven, and approved of the soul as it reads, 

It endures as a token dividing the light from the 
darkness of dreams and of deeds. 

The faces of gods on the face of it carven, or gleam- 
ing behind and above, 

Star-glorified Uranus, thunderous Jehovah, for ter- 
ror or worship or love, 



THE ALTAR OF RIGHTEOUSNESS 

Change, wither, and brighten as flowers that the 

wind of eternity sheds upon time, 
All radiant and transient and awful and mortal, 

and leave it unmarred and sublime. 
As the tides that return and recede are the fears 

and the hopes of the centuries that roll, 
Requenched and rekindled: but strong as the sun 

is the sense of it shrined in the soul. 



In the days when time was not, in the time when 

days were none, 
Ere sorrow had life to lot, ere earth gave thanks for 

the sun, 
Ere man in his darkness waking adored what the 

soul in him could, 
And the manifold God of his making was manifest 

evil and good, 
One law from the dim beginning abode and abides 

in the end, 
In sight of him sorrowing and sinning with none 

but his faith for friend. 
Dark were the shadows around him, and darker the 

glories above, 
Ere light from beyond them found. him, and bade 

him for love's sake love. 
About him was darkness, and under and over him 

darkness : the night 
That conceived him and bore him had thunder for 

utterance and lightning for light. 
320 



THE ALTAR OF RIGHTEOUSNESS 

The dust of death was the dust of the ways that the 

tribes of him trod: 
And he knew not if just or unjust were the might of 

the mystery of God. 
Strange horror and hope, strange faith and unfaith, 

were his boon and his bane: 
And the God of his trust was the wraith of the soul 

or the ghost of it slain. 
A curse was on death as on birth, and a Presence 

that shone as a sword 
Shed menace from heaven upon earth that beheld 

him, and hailed him her Lord. 
Sublime and triumphant as fire or as lightning, he 

kindled the skies, 
And withered with dread the desire that would look 

on the light of his eyes. 
Earth shuddered with worship, and knew not if 

hell were not hot in her breath; 
If birth were not sin, and the dew of the morning 

the sweat of her death. 
The watchwords of evil and good were unspoken of 

men and unheard: 
They were shadows that willed as he would, that 

were made and unmade by his word. 
His word was darkness and light, and a wisdom that 

makes men mad 
Sent blindness upon them for sight, .that they saw 

but and heard as he bade. 
Cast forth and corrupt from the birth by the crime 

of creation, they stood 
Convicted of evil on earth by the grace of a God 

found good, 
vi. 21 321 



THE ALTAR OF RIGHTEOUSNESS 

The grace that enkindled and quickened the dark- 
ness of hell with flame 

Bade man, though the soul in him sickened, obey, 
and give praise to his name. 

The still small voice of the spirit whose life is as 
plague's hot breath 

Bade man shed blood, and inherit the life of the 
kingdom of death. 

" Bring now for blood -offering thy son to mine altar, 

and bind him and slay, 
That the sin of my bidding be done": and the soul 

in the slave said, "Yea." 
Yea, not nay, was the word : and the sacrifice offered 

withal 
Was neither of beast nor of bird, but the soul of a 

man, God's thrall. 
And the word of his servant spoken was fire, and the 

light of a sword, 
When the bondage of Israel was broken, and Sinai 

shrank from the Lord. 
With splendour of slaughter and thunder of song as 

the sound of the sea 
Were the foes of him stricken in sunder and silenced 

as storms that flee. 

Terror and trust and the pride of the chosen, ap- 
proved of his choice, 
Saw God in the whirlwind ride, and rejoiced as the 

winds rejoice. 
Subdued and exalted and kindled and quenched by 

the sense of his might, 
Faith flamed and exulted and dwindled, and saw 

not, and clung to the sight. 
322 



THE ALTAR OF RIGHTEOUSNESS 

The wastes of the wilderness brightened and trem- 
bled with rapture and dread 
When the word of him thundered and lightened and 

spake through the quick and the dead. 
The chant of the prophetess, louder and loftier than 

tempest and wave, 
Rang triumph more ruthless and prouder than death, 

and profound as the grave. 
And sweet as the moon's word spoken in smiles that 

the blown clouds mar 
The psalmist's witness in token arose as the speech 

of a star. 
Starlight supreme, and the tender desire of the 

moon, were as one 
To rebuke with compassion the splendour and 

strength of the godlike sun. 
God softened and changed: and the word of his 

chosen, a fire at the first, 
Bade man, as a beast or a bird, now slake at the 

springs his thirst. 
The souls that were sealed unto death as the bones 

of the dead lie sealed 
Rose thrilled and redeemed by the breath of the 

dawn on the flame-lit field. 

The glories of darkness, cloven with music of thun- 
der, shrank 
As the web of the word was unwoven that spake, 

and the soul's tide sank. 
And the starshine of midnight that covered Arabia 

with light as a robe, 
Waxed fiery with utterance that hovered and flamed 

through the whirlwind on Job. 
3 2 3 



THE ALTAR OF RIGHTEOUSNESS 

And prophet to prophet and vision to vision made 

answer sublime, 
Till the valley of doom and decision was merged in 

the tides of time. 

in 

Then, soft as the dews of night, 
As the star of the stmdawn bright, 
As the heart of the sea's hymn deep, 
And sweet as the balm of sleep, 
Arose on the world a light 

Too pure for the skies to keep. 

With music sweeter and stranger than heaven had 

heard 

When the dark east thrilled with light from a sav- 
iour's word 

And a God grew man to endure as a man and abide 
The doom of the will of the Lord of the loud world's 

tide, 
Whom thunders utter, and tempest and darkness 

hide, 

With larger light than flamed from the peak whereon 
Prometheus, bound as the sun to the world's wheel, 

shone, 

A presence passed and abode but on earth a span, 
And love's own light as a river before him ran, 
And the name of God for a while upon earth was man. 

O star that wast not and wast for the world a sun, 
O light that was quenched of priests, and its work 
undone, 

,324 



THE ALTAR OF RIGHTEOUSNESS 

O Word that wast not as man's or as God's, if God 
Be Lord but of hosts whose tread was as death's 

that trod 

On souls that felt but his wrath as an unseen rod, 
What word, what praise, what passion of hopeless 

prayer, 
May now rise up to thee, loud as in years that 

were, 
From years that gaze on the works of thy servants 

wrought 

While strength was in them to satiate the lust of 

thought 
That craved in thy name for blood as the quest it 

sought ? 

From the dark high places of Rome 

Far over the westward foam 

God's heaven and the sun saw swell 
The fires of the high priest's hell, 

And shrank as they curled and clomb 
And revelled and ravaged and fell. 

IV 

Yet was not the work of thy word all withered with 

wasting flame 
By the sons of the priests that had slain thee, whose 

evil was wrought in thy name. 
From the blood-sodden soil that was blasted with 

fires of the Church and her creed 
Sprang rarely but surely, by grace of thy spirit, a 

flower for a weed. 

325 



THE ALTAR OF RIGHTEOUSNESS 

Thy spirit, unfelt of thy priests who blasphemed 
thee, enthralled and enticed 

To death ward a child that was even as the child we 
behold in Christ. 

The Moors, they told her, beyond bright Spain and 
the strait brief sea, 

Dwelt blind in the light that for them was as dark- 
ness, and knew not thee. 

But the blood of the martyrs whose mission was 
witness for God, they said, 

Might raise to redemption the souls that were here, 
in the sun's sight, dead. 

And the child rose up in the night, when the stars 
were as friends that smiled, 

And sought her brother, and wakened the younger 
and tenderer child. 

From the heaven of a child's glad sleep to the heav- 
en of the sight of her eyes 

He woke, and brightened, and hearkened, and kin- 
dled as stars that rise. 

And forth they fared together to die for the stran- 
ger's sake, 

For the souls of the slayers that should slay them, 
and turn from their sins, and wake. 

And the light of the love that lit them awhile on a 
brief blind quest 

Shines yet on the tear-lit smile that salutes them, 
belated and blest. 

And the girl, full-grown to the stature of godhead 

in womanhood, spake 
The word that sweetens and lightens her creed for 

her great love's sake. 
326 






THE ALTAR OF RIGHTEOUSNESS 

From the godlike heart of Theresa the prayer above 
all prayers heard, 

The cry as of God made woman, a sweet blind won- 
derful word, 

Sprang sudden as flame, and kindled the darkness 
of faith with love, 

And the hollow of hell from beneath shone, quick- 
ened of heaven from above. 

Yea, hell at her word grew heaven, as she prayed 
that if God thought well 

She there might stand in the gateway, that none 
might pass into hell. 

Not Hermes, guardian and guide, God, herald, and 
comforter, shed 

Such lustre of hope from the life of his light on the 
night of the dead. 

Not Pallas, wiser and mightier in mercy than Rome's 
God shone, 

Wore ever such raiment of love as the soul of a 
saint put on. 

So blooms as a flower of the darkness a star of the 
midnight born, 

Of the midnight's womb and the blackness of dark- 
ness, and flames like morn. 

Nor yet may the dawn extinguish or hide it, when 
churches and creeds 

Are withered and blasted with sunlight as poison- 
ous and blossomless weeds. 

So springs and strives through the soil that the 
legions of darkness have trod, 

From the root that is man, from the soul in the body, 
the flower that is God. 
327 



THE ALTAR OF RIGHTEOUSNESS 



Ages and creeds that drift 
Through change and cloud uplift 
The soul that soars and seeks her sovereign 
shrine, 

Her faith's veiled altar, there 
To find, when praise and prayer 
Fall baffled, if the darkenss be divine. 

Lights change and shift through star and sun : 
Night, clothed with might of immemorial years, is 
one. 

Day, born and slain of night, 
Hath hardly life in sight 

And she that bears and slays him and survives, 
And gives us back for one 
Cloud-thwarted fiery sun 
The myriad mysteries of the lambent lives 

Whose starry soundless music saith 
That light and life wax perfect even through night 
and death. 

In vain had darkness heard 
Light speak the lustrous word 
That cast out faith in all save truth and love: 
In vain death's quickening rod 
Bade man rise up as God, 
Touched as with life unknown in heaven above: 

Fear turned his light of love to fire 
That wasted earth, yet might not slay the soul's 
desire. 

328 



THE ALTAR OF RIGHTEOUSNESS 

Though death seem life, and night 
Bid fear call darkness light, 
Time, faith, and hope keep trust, through sor- 
row and shame, 

Till Christ, by Paul cast out, 
Return, and all the rout 
Of raging slaves whose prayer defiles his name 

Rush headlong to the deep, and die, 
And leave no sign to say that faith once heard them 
lie. 

VI 

Since man, with a child's pride proud, and abashed 
as a child and afraid, 

Made God in his likeness, and bowed him to wor- 
ship the Maker he made, 

No faith more dire hath enticed man's trust than 
the saint's whose creed 

Made Caiaphas one with Christ, that worms on the 
cross might feed. 

Priests gazed upon God in the eyes of a babe new- 
born, and therein 

Beheld not heaven, and the wise glad secret of love, 
but sin. 

Accursed of heaven, and baptized with the baptism 
of hatred and hell, 

They spat on the name they despised and adored as 
a sign and a spell. 

"Lord Christ, thou art God, and a liar: they were 
children of wrath, not of grace, 

Unbaptized, unredeemed from the fire they were 
born for, who smiled in thy face." 
3 2 9 



THE ALTAR OF RIGHTEOUSNESS 

Of such is the kingdom he said it of heaven: 

and the heavenly word 
Shall live when religion is dead, and when falsehood 

is dumb shall be heard. 
And the message of James and of John was as 

Christ's and as love's own call: 
But wrath passed sentence thereon when Annas re- 
plied in Paul. 
The dark old God who had slain him grew one with 

the Christ he slew, 
And poison was rank in the grain that with growth 

of his gospel grew. 
And the blackness of darkness brightened: and red 

in the heart of the flame 
Shone down, as a blessing that lightened, the curse 

of a new God's name. 
Through centuries of burning and trembling belief 

as a signal it shone, 
Till man, soul-sick of dissembling, bade fear and 

her frauds begone. 
God Cerberus yelps from his throats triune: but his 

day, which was night, 
Is quenched, with its stars and the notes of its 

night-birds, in silence and light. 
The flames of its fires and the psalms of their psalm- 
ists are darkened and dumb: 
Strong winter has withered the palms of his angels, 

and stricken them numb. 
God, father of lies, God, son of perdition, God, 

spirit of ill, 
Thy will that for ages was done is undone as a dead 

God's will. 

330 



THE ALTAR OF RIGHTEOUSNESS 

Not Mahomet's sword could slay thee, nor Borgia's 

or Calvin's praise: 
But the scales of the spirit that weigh thee are 

weighted with truth, and it slays. 
The song of the day of thy fury, when nature and 

death shall quail, 
Rings now as the thunders of Jewry, the ghost of a 

dead world's tale. 
That day and its doom foreseen and foreshadowed 

on earth, when thou, 
Lord God, wast lord of the keen dark season, are 

sport for us now. 
Thy claws were clipped and thy fangs plucked out 

by the hands that slew 
Men, lovers of man, whose pangs bore witness if 

truth were true. 
Man crucified rose again from the sepulchre builded 

to be 
No grave for the souls of the men who denied thee, 

but, Lord, for thee. 

When Bruno's spirit aspired from the flames that 

thy servants fed, 
The spirit of faith was fired to consume thee and 

leave thee dead. 
When the light of the sunlike eyes whence laughter 

lightened and flamed 
Bade France and the world be wise, faith saw thee 

naked and shamed. 
When wisdom deeper and sweeter than Rabelais 

veiled and revealed 
Found utterance diviner and meeter for truth whence 

anguish is healed, 



THE ALTAR OF RIGHTEOUSNESS 

Whence fear and hate and belief in thee, fed by thy 

grace from above, 
Fall stricken, and utmost grief takes light from the 

lustre of love, 
When Shakespeare shone into birth, and the world 

he beheld grew bright, 
Thy kingdom was ended on earth, and the darkness 

it shed was light. 
In him all truth and the glory thereof and the power 

and the pride, 
The song of the soul and her story, bore witness 

that fear had lied. 
All hope, all wonder, all trust, all doubt that knows 

not of fear, 
The love of the body, the lust of the spirit to see and 

to hear, 
All womanhood, fairer than love could conceive or 

desire or adore, 
All manhood, radiant above all heights that it held 

of yore, 
Lived by the life of his breath, with the speech of 

his soul's will spake, 
And the light lit darkness to death whence never 

the dead shall wake. 
For the light that lived in the sound of the song of 

his speech was one 
With the light of the wisdom that found earth's 

tune in the song of the sun; 
His word with the word of the lord most high of us 

all on earth, 
Whose soul was a lyre and a sword, whose death 

was a deathless birth. 
332 



THE ALTAR OF RIGHTEOUSNESS 

Him too we praise as we praise our own who as he 

stand strong; 
Him, ^Eschylus, ancient of days, whose word is the 

perfect song. 
When Caucasus showed to the sun and the sea 

what a God could endure, 
When wisdom and light were one, and the hands 

of the matricide pure, 
A song too subtle for psalmist or prophet of Jewry 

to know, 
Elate and profound as the calmest or stormiest of 

waters that flow, 
A word whose echoes were wonder and music of 

fears overcome, 
Bade Sinai bow, and the thunder of godhead on 

Horeb be dumb. 
The childless children of night, strong daughters of 

doom and dread, 
The thoughts and the fears that smite the soul, and 

its life lies dead, 
Stood still and were quelled by the sound of his 

word and the light of his thought, 
And the God that in man lay bound was unbound 

from the bonds he had wrought. 
Dark fear of a lord more dark than the dreams of 

his worshippers knew 
Fell dead, and the corpse lay stark in the sunlight of 

truth shown true. 

VII 

Time, and truth his child, though terror set earth 

and heaven at odds, 
See the light of manhood rise on the twilight of the 

Gods. 

333 



THE ALTAR OF RIGHTEOUSNESS 

Light is here for souls to see, though the stars of 

faith be dead: 
All the sea that yearned and trembled receives the 

sun instead. 
All the shadows on the spirit when fears and dreams 

were strong, 
All perdition, all redemption, blind rain - stars 

watched so long, 

Love whose root was fear, thanksgiving that cow- 
ered beneath the rod, 
Feel the light that heals and withers: night weeps 

upon her God. 
All the names wherein the incarnate Lord lived his 

day and died 
Fade from suns to stars, from stars into darkness 

undescried. 
Christ the man lives yet, remembered of man as 

dreams that leave 
Light on eyes that wake and know not if memory 

bid them grieve. 
Fire sublime as lightning shines, and exults in 

thunder yet, 
Where the battle wields the name and the sword of 

Mahomet. 
Far above all wars and gospels, all ebb and flow of 

time, 
Lives the soul that speaks in silence, and makes 

mute earth sublime. 
Still for her, though years and ages be blinded and 

bedinned, 
Mazed with lightnings, crazed with thunders, life 

rides and guides the wind. 
334 



THE ALTAR OF RIGHTEOUSNESS 

Death may live or death may die, and the truth be 

light or night : 
Not for gain of heaven may man put away the rule 

of right. 



A NEW YEAR'S EVE 
CHRISTINA ROSSETTI DIED DECEMBER 29, 1894. 



THE stars are strong in the deeps of the lustrous 

night, 
Cold and splendid as death if his dawn be bright; 

Cold as the cast-off garb that is cold as clay, 
Splendid and strong as a spirit intense as light. 

A soul more sweet than the morning of new-born 

May 
Has passed with the year that has passed from the 

world away. 
A song more sweet than the morning's first-born 

song 
Again will hymn not among us a new year's day. 

Not here, not here shall the carol of joy grown 

strong 
Ring rapture now, and uplift us, a spell-struck 

throng, 

From dream to vision of life that the soul may see 
By death's grace only, if death do its trust no 

wrong. 

336 



A NEW YEAR'S EVE 

Scarce yet the days and the starry nights are three 
Since here among us a spirit abode as we, 

Girt round with life that is fettered in bonds of 

time, 

And clasped with darkness about as is earth with 
sea. 

And now, more high than the vision of souls may 
climb, 

The soul whose song was as music of stars that 

chime, 

Clothed round with life as of dawn and the mount- 
ing sun, 

Sings, and we know not here of the song sublime. 

No word is ours of it now that the songs are done 

Whence here we drank of delight as in freedom won, 

In deep deliverance given from the bonds we 

bore. 
There is none to sing as she sang upon earth, not 

one. 

We heard awhile: and for us who shall hear no 

more 

The sound as of waves of light on a starry shore 
Awhile bade brighten and yearn as a father's 

face 
The face of death, divine as in days of yore. 

The grey gloom quickened and quivered: the sun- 
less place 

Thrilled, and the silence deeper than time or space 
vi.- 22 337 



A NEW YEAR'S EVE 

Seemed now not all everlasting. Hope grew 

strong, 

And love took comfort, given of the sweet song's 
grace. 

Love that finds not on earth, where it finds but 

wrong, 

Love that bears not the bondage of years in throng 
Shone to show for her, higher than the years that 

mar, 
The life she looked and longed for as love must long. 

Who knows? We know not. Afar, if the dead be 
far, 

Alive, if the dead be alive as the soul's works are, 
The soul whose breath was among us a heaven- 
ward song 

Sings, loves, and shines as it shines for us here a 
star. 



IN A ROSARY 



THROUGH the low grey archway children's feet that 

pass 

Quicken, glad to find the sweetest haunt of all. 
Brightest wildflowers gleaming deep in lustiest 

grass, 
Glorious weeds that glisten through the green sea's 

glass, 
Match not now this marvel, born to fade and fall. 



Roses like a rainbow wrought of roses rise 
Right and left and forward, shining toward the sun. 
Nay, the rainbow lit of sunshine droops and dies 
Ere we dream it hallows earth and seas and skies; 
Ere delight may dream it lives, its life is done. 

Round the border hemmed with high deep hedges 

round 

Go the children, peering over or between 
Where the dense bright oval wall of box in wound, 
Reared about the roses fast within it bound, 
Gives them grace to glance at glories else unseen. 

Flower outlightening flower and tree outflowering 

tree 

Feed and fill the sense and spirit full with joy. 

339 



IN A ROSARY 

Nought awhile they know of outer earth and sea: 
Here enough of joy it is to breathe and be: 
Here the sense of life is one for girl and boy. 

Heaven above them, bright as children's eyes or 

dreams, 

Earth about them, sweet as glad soft sleep can show 
Earth and sky and sea, a world that scarcely seems 
Even in children's eyes less fair than life that gleams 
Through the sleep that none but sinless eyes may 

know. 

Near beneath, and near above, the terraced ways 
Wind or stretch and bask or blink against the sun. 
Hidden here from sight on soft or stormy days 
Lies and laughs with love toward heaven, at silent 

gaze, 
All the radiant rosary all its flowers made one. 

All the multitude of roses towering round 

Dawn and noon and night behold as one full flower, 

Fain of heaven and loved of heaven, curbed and 

crowned, 
Raised and reared to make this plot of earthly 

ground 
Heavenly, could but heaven endure on earth an 

hour. 

Swept away, made nothing now for ever, dead, 
Still the rosary lives and shines on memory, free 
Now from fear of death or change as childhood, fled 
Years on years before its last live leaves were shed : 
None may mar it now, as none may stain the sea. 

340 



THE HIGH OAKS 
BARKING HALL, JULY IQTH, 1896 



FOURSCORE years and seven 
Light and dew from heaven 
Have fallen with dawn on these glad woods each 

day 

Since here was born, even here, 
A birth more bright and dear 
Than ever a younger year 
Hath seen or shall till all these pass away, 

Even all the imperious pride of these, 
The woodland ways majestic now with towers of 
trees. 

Love itself hath nought 
Touched of tenderest thought 
With holiest hallowing of memorial grace 
For memory, blind with bliss, 
To love, to clasp, to kiss, 
So sweetly strange as this, 
The sense that here the sun first hailed her face, 

A babe at Her glad mother's breast, 
And here again beholds it more beloved and blest. 

34i 



THE HIGPI OAKS 

Love's own heart, a living 
Spring of strong thanksgiving, 
Can bid no strength of welling song find way 
When all the soul would seek 
One word for joy to speak, 
And even its strength makes weak 
The too strong yearning of the soul to say 

What may not be conceived or said 
While darkness makes division of the quick and 
dead. 

Haply, where the sun 
Wanes, and death is none, 
The word known here of silence only, held 
Too dear for speech to wrong, 
May leap in living song 
Forth, and the speech be strong 
As here the silence whence it yearned and welled 
From hearts whose utterance love sealed fast 
Till death perchance might give it grace to live at 
last. 

Here we have our earth 
Yet, with all the mirth 
Of all the summers since the world began, 
All strengths of rest and strife 
And love-lit love of life 
Where death has birth to wife, 
And where the sun speaks, and is heard of man: 

Yea, half the sun's bright speech is heard, 
And like the sea the soul of man gives back his 
word. 

342 



THE HIGH OAKS 

Earth's enkindled heart 
Bears benignant part 

In the ardent heaven's auroral pride of prime: 
If ever home on earth 
Were found of heaven's grace worth 
So God-beloved a birth 

As here makes bright the fostering face of time, 

Here, heaven bears witness, might such grace 

Fall fragrant as the dewf all on that brightening face. 

Here, for mine and me, 
All that eyes may see 

Hath more than all the wide world else of good, 
All nature else of fair: 
Here as none otherwhere 
Heaven is the circling air, 
Heaven is the homestead, heaven the wold, the 

wood : 

The fragrance with the shadow spread 
From broadening wings of cedars breathes of dawn's 
bright bed. 

Once a dawn rose here 
More divine and dear, 

Rose on a birth-bed brighter far than dawn's, 
Whence all the summer grew 
Sweet as when earth was new 
And pure as Eden's dew: 

And yet its light lives on these lustrous lawns, 
Clings round these wildwood ways, and cleaves 
To the aisles of shadow and sun that wind unweaves 
and weaves. 
343 



THE HIGH OAKS 

Thoughts that smile and weep, 
Dreams that hallow sleep, 
Brood in the branching shadows of the trees, 
Tall trees at agelong rest 
Wherein the centuries nest, 
Whence, blest as these are blest, 
We part, and part not from delight in these; 

Whose comfort, sleeping as awake, 
We bear about within us as when first it spake. 

Comfort as of song 
Grown with time more strong, 
Made perfect and prophetic as the sea, 
Whose message, when it lies 
Far off our hungering eyes, 
Within us prophesies 
Of life not ours, yet ours as theirs may be 

Whose souls far off us shine and sing 
As ere they sprang back sunward, swift as fire 
might spring. 

All this oldworld pleasance 
Hails a hallowing presence, 
And thrills with sense of more than summer 

near, 

And lifts toward heaven more high 
The song-surpassing cry 
Of rapture that July 
Lives, for her love who makes it loveliest here; 

For joy that she who here first drew 
The breath of life she gave me breathes it here 
anew. 

344 



THE HIGH OAKS 

Never birthday born 
Highest in height of morn 

Whereout the star looks forth that leads the sun 
Shone higher in love's account, 
Still seeing the mid noon mount 
From the eager dayspring's fount 
Each year more lustrous, each like all in one; 

Whose light around us and above 
We could not see so lovely save by grace of love. 



BARKING HALL: A YEAR AFTER 



STILL the sovereign trees 
Make the sundawn's breeze 
More bright, more sweet, more heavenly than it 

rose, 

As wind and sun fulfil 
Their living rapture: still 
Noon, dawn, and evening thrill 
With radiant change the immeasurable repose 

Wherewith the woodland wilds lie blest 
And feel how storms and centuries rock them still 
to rest. 

Still the love-lit place 
Given of God such grace 
That here was born on earth a birth divine 
Gives thanks with all its flowers 
Through all their lustrous hours, 
From all its birds and bowers 
Gives thanks that here they felt her sunset 

shine 

Where once her sunrise laughed, and bade 
The life of all the living things it lit be glad. 

346 



BARKING HALL: A YEAR AFTER 

Soft as light and strong 
Rises yet their song 

And thrills with pride the cedar-crested lawn 
And every brooding dove. 
But she, beloved above 
All utterance known of love, 
Abides no more the change of night and dawn, 

Beholds no more with earth-born eye 
These woods that watched her waking here where 
all things die. 

Not the light that shone 
When she looked thereon 
Shines on them or shall shine for ever here. 
We know not, save when sleep 
Slays death, who fain would keep 
His mystery dense and deep, 
Where shines the smile we held and hold so dear. 

Dreams only, thrilled and filled with love, 
Bring back its light ere dawn leave nought alive 
above. 

Nought alive awake 
Sees the strong dawn break 
On all the dreams that dying night bade live. 
Yet scarce the intolerant sense 
Of day's harsh evidence 
How came their word and whence 
Strikes dumb the song of thanks it bids them 

give, 

The joy that answers as it heard 
And lightens as it saw the light that spake the word. 

347 



BARKING HALL: A YEAR AFTER 

Night and sleep and dawn 
Pass with dreams withdrawn: 
But higher above them far than noon may climb 
Love lives and turns to light 
The deadly noon of night. 
His fiery spirit of sight 
Endures no curb of change or darkling time. 

Even earth and transient things of earth 
Even here to him bear witness not of death but 
birth. 



MUSIC: AN ODE 



WAS it light that spake from the darkness, or 

music that shone from the word, 
When the night was enkindled with sound of the 

sun or the first-born bird ? 
Souls enthralled and entrammelled in bondage of 

seasons that fall and rise, 
Bound fast round with the fetters of flesh, and 

blinded with light that dies, 
Lived not surely till music spake, and the spirit of 

life was heard. 



ii 

Music, sister of sunrise, and herald of life to be, 
Smiled as dawn on the spirit of man, and the 

thrall was free. 
Slave of nature and serf of time, the bondman of 

life and death, 
Dumb with passionless patience that breathed but 

forlorn and reluctant breath, 

Heard, beheld, and his soul made answer, and com- 
muned aloud with the sea. 
349 



MUSIC: AN ODE 

in 

Morning spake, and he heard: and the passionate 

silent noon 
Kept for him not silence : and soft from the mount' 

ing moon 
Fell the sound of her splendour, heard as dawn's 

in the breathless night, 
Not of men but of birds whose note bade man's soul 

quicken and leap to light: 
And the song of it spake, and the light and the 

darkness of earth were as chords in tune. 



THE CENTENARY OF THE BATTLE OF 
THE NILE 

AUGUST 1898 
" Horatio Nelson Honor est a Nilo " 



A HUNDRED years have lightened and have waned 
Since ancient Nile by grace of Nelson gained 

A glory higher in story now than time 
Saw when his kings were gods that raged and reigned. 

The day that left even England more sublime 
And higher on heights that none but she may climb 

Abides above all shock of change-born chance 
Where hope and memory hear the stars keep chime. 

The strong and sunbright lie whose name was France 
Arose against the sun of truth, whose glance 

Laughed large from the eyes of England, fierce 

as fire 
Whence eyes wax blind that gaze on truth askance. 

A name above all names of heroes, higher 
Than song may sound or heart of man aspire, 
Rings as the very voice that speaks the sea 
To-day from all the sea's enkindling lyre. 



THE BATTLE OF THE NILE 

The sound that bids the soul of silence be 
Fire, and a rapturous music, speaks, and we 

Hear what the sea's heart utters, wide and far: 
"This was his day, and this day's light was he." 

O sea, our sea that hadst him for thy star, 
A hundred years that fall upon thee are 

Even as a hundred flakes of rain or snow: 
No storm of battle signs thee with a scar. 

But never more may ship that sails thee show, 
But never may the sun that loves thee know, 

But never may thine England give thee more, 
A man whose life and death shall praise thee so. 

The Nile, the sea, the battle, and the shore, 
Heard as we hear one word arise and soar, 

Beheld one name above them tower and glow 
Nelson: a light that time bows down before. 



TRAFALGAR DAY 



SEA, that art ours as we are thine, whose name 
Is one with England's even as light with flame, 

Dost thou as we, thy chosen of all men, know 
This day of days when death gave life to fame? 

Dost thou not kindle above and thrill below 
With rapturous record, with memorial glow, 
Remembering this thy festal day of fight, 
And all the joy it gave, and all the woe ? 

Never since day broke flowerlike forth of night 
Broke such a dawn of battle. Death in sight 

Made of the man whose life was like the sun 
A man more godlike than the lord of light. 

There is none like him, and there shall be none. 
When England bears again as great a son, 

He can but follow fame where Nelson led. 
There is not and there cannot be but one. 

As earth has but one England, crown and head 
Of all her glories till the sun be dead, 

Supreme in peace and war, supreme in song, 
Supreme in freedom, since her rede was read, 

v'.-*3 353 



TRAFALGAR DAY 

Since first the soul that gave her speech grew strong 
To help the right and heal the wild world's wrong, 

So she hath but one royal Nelson, born 
To reign on time above the years that throng. 

The music of his name puts fear to scorn, 

And thrills our twilight through with sense of morn : 

As England was, how should not England be? 
No tempest yet has left her banner torn. 

No year has yet put out the day when he 
Who lived and died to keep our kingship free 

Wherever seas by warring winds are worn 
Died, and was one with England and the sea. 

October 21, 1895. 



CROMWELL'S STATUE 



WHAT needs our Cromwell stone or bronze to say 
His was the light that lit on England's way 

The sundawn of her time-compelling power, 
The noontide of her most imperial day ? 

His hand won back the sea for England's dower; 
His footfall bade the Moor change heart and cower; 
His word on Milton's tongue spake law to France 
When Piedmont felt the she-wolf Rome devour. 

From Cromwell's eyes the light of England's glance 
Flashed, and bowed down the kings by grace of 

chance, 

The priest-anointed princes; one alone 
By grace of England held their hosts in trance. 

The enthroned Republic from her kinglier throne 
Spake, and her speech was Cromwell's. Earth has 

known 
No lordlier presence. How should Cromwell 

stand 
With kinglets and with queenlings hewn in stone? 

1 Refused by the party of reaction and disunion in the 
House of Commons on the i;th of June, 1895. 

355 



CROMWELL'S STATUE 

Incarnate England in his warrior hand 
Smote, and as fire devours the blackening brand 
Made ashes of their strengths who wrought her 

wrong, 
And turned the strongholds of her foes to sand. 

His praise is in the sea's and Milton's song; 
What praise could reach him from the weakling 

throng 
That rules by leave of tongues whose praise is 

shame 
Him, who made England out of weakness strong? 

There needs no clarion's blast of broad-blown fame 
To bid the world bear witness whence he came 

Who bade fierce Europe fawn at England's heel 
And purged the plague of lineal rule with flame. 

There needs no witness graven on stone or steel 
For one whose work bids fame bow down and kneel ; 
Our man of men, whose time-commanding name 
Speaks England, and proclaims her Commonweal. 

June 20, 1895. 



A WORD FOR THE NAVY 



QUEEN born of the sea, that hast borne her 

The mightiest of seamen on earth, 
Bright England, whose glories adorn her 
And bid her rejoice in thy birth 
As others made mothers 

Rejoice in births sublime, 
She names thee, she claims thee, 
The lordliest child of time. 



ii 

All hers is the praise of thy story, 

All thine is the love of her choice: 
The light of her waves is thy glory, 
The sound of thy soul is her voice. 
They fear it who hear it 

And love not truth nor thee: 
They sicken, heart-stricken, 
Who see and would not see. 
357 



A WORD FOR THE NAVY 

in 

The lords of thy fate, and thy keepers 

Whose charge is the strength of thy ships, 
If now they be dreamers and sleepers, 
Or sluggards with lies at their lips, 
Thy haters and traitors, 

False friends or foes descried, 
Might scatter and shatter 
Too soon thy princely pride. 



IV 



Dark Muscovy, reptile in rancour, 
Base Germany, blatant in guile, 
Lay wait for thee riding at anchor 
On waters that whisper and smile. 
They deem thee or dream thee 

Less living now than dead, 
Deep sunken and drunken 

With sleep whence fear has fled. 



And what though thy song as thine action 
Wax faint, and thy place be not known 
While faction is grappling with faction, 
Twin curs with thy corpse for a bone ? 
They care not, who spare not 

The noise of pens or throats; 
Who bluster and muster 

Blind ranks and bellowing votes. 

358 



A WORD FOR THE NAVY 

VI 

Let populace jangle with peerage 

And ministers shuffle their mobs; 
Mad pilots who reck not of steerage 
Though tempest ahead of them throbs. 
That throbbing and sobbing 
Of wind and gradual wave 
They hear not and fear not 

Who guide thee toward thy grave. 



VII 



No clamour of cries or of parties 

Is worth but a whisper from thee, 
While only the trust of thy heart is 
At one with the soul of the sea. 
In justice her trust is 

Whose time her tidestreams keep; 
They sink not, they shrink not, 
Time casts them not on sleep. 

VIII 

Sleep thou: for thy past was so royal, 

Love hardly would bid thee take heed 
Were Russia not faithful and loyal 
Nor Germany guiltless of greed. 
No nation, in station 

Of story less than thou, 
Re-risen from prison, 

Can stand against thee now. 

359 



A WORD FOR THE NAVY 

IX 

Sleep on: is the time not a season 

For strong men to slumber and sleep, 
And wise men to palter with treason? 

And that they sow tares, shall they reap ? 
The wages of ages 

Wherein men smiled and slept, 
Fame fails them, shame veils them, 
Their record is not kept. 



Nay, whence is it then that we know it, 

What wages were theirs, and what fame? 
Deep voices of prophet and poet 
Bear record against them of shame. 
Death, starker and darker 

Than seals the graveyard grate, 
Entombs them and dooms them 
To darkness deep as fate. 



XI 

But thou, though the world should misdoubt thee, 

Be strong as the seas at thy side; 
Bind on but thine armour about thee, 

That girds thee with power and with pride. 
Where Drake stood, where Blake stood, 

Where fame sees Nelson stand, 
Stand thou too, and now too 
Take thou thy fate in hand. 
360 



A WORD FOR THE NAVY 

XII 

At the gate of the sea, in the gateway, 

They stood as the guards of thy gate; 
Take now but thy strengths to thee straightway, 
Though late, we will deem it not late. 
Thy story, thy glory, 

The very soul of thee, 
It rose not, it grows not, 
It comes not save by sea. 






NORTHUMBERLAND 



BETWEEN our eastward and our westward sea 

The narrowing strand 

Clasps close the noblest shore fame holds in fee 
Even here where English birth seals all men free 

Northumberland. 

The sea-mists meet across it when the snow 

Clothes moor and fell, 

And bid their true-born hearts who love it glow 
For joy that none less nobly born may know 

What love knows well. 

The splendour and the strength of storm and fight 

Sustain the song 

That filled our fathers' hearts with joy to smite, 
To live, to love, to lay down life that right 

Might tread down wrong. 

They warred, they sang, they triumphed, and they 

passed, 

And left us glad 

Here to be born, their sons, whose hearts hold fast 
The proud old love no change can overcast, 
No chance leave sad. 
362 



NORTHUMBERLAND 

None save our northmen ever, none but we, 

Met, pledged, or fought 

Such foes and friends as Scotland and the sea 
With heart so high and equal, strong in glee 

And stern in thought. 

Thought, fed from time's memorial springs with 
pride, 

Made strong as fire 

Their hearts who hurled the foe down Flodden side, 
And hers who rode the waves none else durst ride 

None save her sire. 

O land beloved, where nought of legend's dream 

Outshines the truth, 
Where Joyous Gard, closed round with clouds that 

gleam 
For them that know thee not, can scarce but seem 

Too sweet for sooth, 

Thy sons forget not, nor shall fame forget, 

The deed there done 

Before the walls whose fabled fame is yet 
A light too sweet and strong to rise and set 

With moon and sun. 

Song bright as flash of swords or oars that shine 

Through fight or foam 
Stirs yet the blood thou hast given thy sons like 

wine 
To hail in each bright ballad hailed as thine 

One heart, one home. 

363 



NORTHUMBERLAND 

Our Collingwood, though Nelson be not ours, 

By him shall stand 

Immortal, till those waifs of oldworld hours, 
Forgotten, leave uncrowned with bays and flowers 

Northumberland. 



STRATFORD-ON-AVON 
JUNE 27, 1901 



BE glad in heaven above all souls insphered, 
Most royal and most loyal born of men, 
Shakespeare, of all on earth beloved or feared 
Or worshipped, highest in sight of human ken. 
The homestead hallowed by thy sovereign birth, 
Whose name, being one with thine, stands higher 

than Rome, 

Forgets not how of all on English earth 
Their trust is holiest, there who have their home. 
Stratford is thine and England's. None that hate 
The commonweal whose empire sets men free 
Find comfort there, where once by grace of fate 
A soul was born as boundless as the sea. 
If life, if love, if memory now be thine, 
Rejoice that still thy Stratford bears thy sign. 



BURNS: AN ODE 



A FIRE of fierce and laughing light 
That clove the shuddering heart of night 
Leapt earthward, and the thunder's might 

That pants and yearns 
Made fitful music round its flight: 

And earth saw Burns. 

The joyous lightning found its voice 
And bade the heart of wrath rejoice 
And scorn uplift a song to voice 

The imperial hate 
That smote the God of base men's choice 

At God's own gate. 

Before the shrine of dawn, wherethrough 
The lark rang rapture as she flew, 
It flashed and fired the darkling dew: 

And all that heard 
With love or loathing hailed anew 

A new day's word. 

The servants of the lord of hell, 
As though their lord had blessed them, fell 
366 



BURNS: AN ODE 

Foaming at mouth for fear, so well 

They knew the lie 
Wherewith they sought to scan and spell 

The unsounded sky. 

And Calvin, night's prophetic bird, 
Out of his home in hell was heard 
Shrieking; and all the fens were stirred 

Whence plague is bred; 
Can God endure the scoffer's word? 

But God was dead. 

The God they made them in despite 
Of man and woman, love and light, 
Strong sundawn and the starry night, 

The lie supreme, 
Shot through with song, stood forth to sight 

A devil's dream. 

And he that bent the lyric bow 
And laid the lord of darkness low 
And bade the fire of laughter glow 

Across his grave, 
And bade the tides above it flow, 

Wave hurtling wave, 

Shall he not win from latter days 

More than his own could yield of praise? 

Ay, could the sovereign singer's bays 

Forsake his brow, 
The warrior's, won on stormier ways 

Still clasp it now. 
367 



BURNS: AN ODE 

He loved, and sang of love: he laughed, 
And bade the cup whereout he quaffed 
Shine as a planet, fore and aft, 

And left and right, 
And keen as shoots the sun's first shaft 

Against the night. 

But love and wine were moon and sun 
For many a fame long since undone, 
And sorrow and joy have lost and won 

By stormy turns 
As many a singer's soul, if none 

More bright than Burns. 

And sweeter far in grief or mirth 
Have songs as glad and sad of birth 
Found voice to speak of wealth or dearth 

In joy of life: 
But never song took fire from earth 

More strong for strife. 

The daisy by his ploughshare cleft, 

The lips of women loved and left, 

The griefs and joys that weave the weft 

Of human time, 
With craftsman's cunning, keen and deft, 

He carved in rhyme. 

But Chaucer's daisy shines a star 
Above his ploughshare's reach to mar, 
368 



BURNS: AN ODE 

And mightier vision gave Dunbar 

More strenuous wing 
To hear around all sins that are 

Hell dance and sing. 

And when such pride and power of trust 
In song's high gift to arouse from dust 
Death, and transfigure love or lust 

Through smiles or tears 
In golden speech that takes no rust 

From cankering years, 

As never spake but once in one 

Strong star-crossed child of earth and sun, 

Villon, made music such as none 

May praise or blame, 
A crown of starrier flower was won 

Than Burns may claim. 

But never, since bright earth was born 
In rapture of the enkindling morn, 
Might godlike wrath and sunlike scorn 

That was and is 
And shall be while false weeds are worn 

Find word like his. 

Above the rude and radiant earth 

That heaves and glows from firth to firth 

In vale and mountain, bright in dearth 

And warm in wealth, 
Which gave his fiery glory birth 

By chance and stealth, 

vi. 24 369 



BURNS: AN ODE 

Above the storms of praise and blame 
That blur with mist his lustrous name, 
His thunderous laughter went and came, 

And lives and flies; 
The roar that follows on the flame 

When lightning dies. 

Earth, and the snow-dimmed heights of air, 

And water winding soft and fair 

Through still sweet places, bright and bare, 

By bent and byre, 
Taught him what hearts within them were: 

But his was fire. 



THE COMMONWEAL 
A SONG FOR UNIONISTS 



MEN, whose fathers braved the world in arms against 

our isles in union, 

Men, whose brothers met rebellion face to face, 
Show the hearts ye have, if worthy long descent and 

high communion, 
Show the spirits, if unbroken, of your race. 

What are these that howl and hiss across the strait 

of westward water ? 
What is he who floods our ears with speech in 

flood? 
See the long tongue lick the dripping hand that 

smokes and reeks of slaughter! 
See the man of words embrace the man of blood ! 

Hear the plea whereby the tonguester mocks and 

charms the gazing gaper 
' ' We are they whose works are works of love and 

peace ; 
Till disunion bring forth union, what is union, sirs, 

but paper? 

Break and rend it, then shall trust and strength 
increase." 



THE COMMONWEAL 

Who would fear to trust a double-faced but single- 
hearted dreamer, 
Pure of purpose, clean of hand, and clear of 

guile? 
"Life is well-nigh spent," he sighs; "you call me 

shuffler, trickster, schemer? 
I am old when young men yell at me, I smile." 

Many a year that priceless light of life has trembled, 

we remember, 

On the platform of extinction unextinct; 
Many a month has been for him the long year's last 

life's calm December: 
Can it be that he who said so, saying so, winked ? 

No; the lust of life, the thirst for work and days 

with work to do in, 
Drove and drives him down the road of splendid 

shame ; 

All is well, if o'er the monument recording Eng- 
land's ruin 

Time shall read, inscribed in triumph, Gladstone's 
name. 

Thieves and murderers, hands yet red with blood 

and tongues yet black with lies, 
Clap and clamour "Parnell spurs his Gladstone 

well!" 
Truth, unscared and undeluded by their praise or 

blame, replies 

"Is the goal of fraud and bloodshed heaven or 
hell?" 

372 



THE COMMONWEAL 

Old men eloquent, who truckle to the traitors of 

the time, 

Love not office power is no desire of theirs: 
What if yesterday their hearts recoiled from blood 

and fraud and crime? 
Conscience erred an error which to-day repairs. 

Conscience only now convinces them of strange 

though transient error: 

Only now they see how fair is treason's face; 
See how true the falsehood, just the theft, and blame- 
less is the terror, 
Which replaces just and blameless men in place. 

Place and time decide the right and wrong of 

thought and word and action; 
Crime is black as hell, till virtue gain its vote; 
Then but ah, to think or say so smacks of fraud 

or smells of faction! 
Mercy holds the door while Murder hacks the throat. 

Murder? Treason? Theft? Poor brothers who 

succumb to such temptations, 
Shall we lay on you or take on us the blame ? 
Reason answers, and religion echoes round to won- 
dering nations, 

"Not with Ireland, but with England rests the 
shame." 

Reason speaks through mild religion's organ, loud 

and long and lusty 

Profit speaks through lips of patriots pure and 
true 

373 



THE COMMONWEAL 

"English friends, whose trust we ask for, has not 

England found us trusty? 
Not for us we seek advancement, but for you. 

"Far and near the world bears witness of our wis- 
dom, courage, honour; 
Egypt knows if there our fame burns bright or 

dim. 
Let but England trust as Gordon trusted, soon shall 

come upon her 
Such deliverance as our daring brought on him. 

"Far and wide the world rings record of our faith, 

our constant dealing, 
Love of country, truth to friends, contempt for 

foes. 
Sign once more the bond of trust in us that here 

awaits but sealing, 
We will give yet more than all our record shows. 

"Perfect ruin, shame eternal, everlasting degra- 
dation, 

Freedom bought and sold, truth bound and trea- 
son free." 
Yet an hour is here for answer; now, if here be yet 

a nation, 
Answer, England, man by man from sea to sea! 

June 30, 1886. 



THE QUESTION 

1887 

SHALL England consummate the crime 

That binds the murderer's hand, and leaves 
No surety for the trust of thieves? 

Time pleads against it truth and time 
And pity frowns and grieves. 

The hoary henchman of the gang 
Lifts hands that never dew nor rain 
May cleanse from Gordon's blood again, 

Appealing: pity's tenderest pang 
Thrills his pure heart with pain. 

Grand helmsman of the clamorous crew, 
The good grey recreant quakes and weeps 
To think that crime no longer creeps 

Safe toward its end: that murderers too 
May die when mercy sleeps. 

While all the lives were innocent 

That slaughter drank, and laughed with rage, 
Bland virtue sighed, "A former age 

Taught murder: souls long discontent 
Can aught save blood assuage? 
375 



THE QUESTION 

"You blame not Russian hands that smite 
By fierce and secret ways the power 
That leaves not life one chainless hour; 

Have these than they less natural right 
To claim life's natural dower? 



"The dower that freedom brings the slave 
She weds, is vengeance: why should we, 
Whom equal laws acclaim as free, 

Think shame, if men too blindly brave 
Steal, murder, skulk, and flee? 



"At kings they strike in Russia: there 
Men take their life in hand who slay 
Kings: these, that have not heart to lay 

Hand save on girls whose ravaged hair 
Is made the patriot's prey, 

"These, whom the sight of old men slain 
Makes bold to bid their children die, 
Starved, if they hold not peace, nor lie, 

Claim loftier praise: could others deign 
To stand in shame so high? 



"Could others deign to dare such deeds 
As holiest Ireland hallows? Nay, 
But justice then makes plain our way: 

Be laws burnt up like burning weeds 
That vex the face of day. 
376 



THE QUESTION 

"Shall bloodmongers be held of us 

Blood-guilty? Hands reached out for gold 
Whereon blood rusts not yet, we hold 

Bloodless and blameless: ever thus 
Have good men held of old. 



"Fair Freedom, fledged and imped with lies, 
Takes flight by night where murder lurks, 
And broods on murderous ways and works, 

Yet seems not hideous in our eyes 
As Austrians or as Turks. 



"Be it ours to undo a woful past, 
To bid the bells of concord chime, 
To break the bonds of suffering crime, 

Slack now, that some would make more fast 
Such teaching comes of time." 



So pleads the gentlest heart that lives, 
Whose pity, pitiless for all 
Whom darkling terror holds in thrall, 

Toward none save miscreants yearns, and gives 
Alms of warm tears and gall. 



Hear, England, and obey: for he 
Who claims thy trust again to-day 
Is he who left thy sons a prey 

To shame whence only death sets free: 
Hear, England, and obey. 
377 



THE QUESTION 

Thy spoils he gave to deck the Dutch; 
Thy noblest pride, most pure, most brave, 
To death forlorn and sure he gave; 

Nor now requires he overmuch 
Who bids thee dig thy grave. 



Dig deep the grave of shame, wherein 
Thy fame, thy commonweal, must lie; 
Put thought of aught save terror by; 

To strike and slay the slayer is sin; 
And Murder must not die. 



Bind fast the true man; loose the thief; 
Shamed were the land, the laws accursed, 
Were guilt, not innocence, amerced; 

And dark the wrong and sore the grief, 
Were tyrants too coerced. 

The fiercest cowards that ever skulked, 
The cowardliest hounds that ever lapped 
Blood, if their horde be tracked and trapped, 

And justice claim their lives for mulct, 
Gnash teeth that flashed and snapped. 

Bow down for fear, then, England: bow, 
Lest worse befall thee yet; and swear 
That nought save pity, conscience, care 

For truth and mercy, moves thee now 
To call foul falsehood fair. 

378 



THE QUESTION 

So shalt thou live in shame, and hear 
The lips of all men laugh thee dead; 

The wide world's mockery round thy head 
Shriek like a storm-wind: and a bier 

Shall be thine honour's bed. 



APOSTASY 

Et Judas m'a dit: Traitre! VICTOR HUGO 



TRUTHS change with time, and terms with truth. 

To-day 

A statesman worships union, and to-night 
Disunion. Shame to have sinned against the 

light 

Confounds not but impels his tongue to unsay 
What yestereve he swore. Should fear make way 
For treason? honour change her livery? fright 
Clasp hands with interest? wrong pledge faith 

with right ? 
Religion, mercy, conscience, answer Yea. 

To veer is not to veer: when votes are weighed, 
The numerous tongue approves him renegade 

Who cannot change his banner: he that can 

Sits crowned with wreaths of praise too pure to fade. 

Truth smiles applause on treason's poisonous 

plan: 

And Cleon is an honourable man. 
380 



APOSTASY 

ii 

Pure faith, fond hope, sweet love, with God for guide, 
Move now the men whose blameless error cast 
In prison (ah, but love condones the past!) 
Their subject knaves that were their lords that 

ride 

Now laughing on their necks, and now bestride 
Their vassal backs in triumph. Faith stands 

fast 
Though fear haul down the flag that crowned 

her mast 
And hope and love proclaim that truth has lied. 

Turn, turn, and turn so bids the still small voice, 
The changeless voice of honour. He that stands 
Where all his life he stood, with bribeless hands, 

With tongue unhired to mourn, reprove, rejoice, 
Curse, bless, forswear, and swear again, and lie, 
Stands proven apostate in the apostate's eye. 



HI 

Fraud shrinks from faith: at sight of swans, the 

raven 

Chides blackness, and the snake recoils aghast 
In fear of poison when a bird flies past. 

Thersites brands Achilles as a craven; 

The shoal fed full with shipwreck blames the haven 
For murderous lust of lives devoured, and vast 
Desire of doom whose feast is mercy's fast: 

And Bacon sees the traitor's mark engraven 

381 



APOSTASY 

Full on the front of Essex. Grief and shame 

Obscure the chaste and sunlike spirit of Oates 

At thought of Russell's treason; and the name 

Of Milton sickens with superb disgust 

The heaving heart of Waller. Wisdom dotes, 

If wisdom turns not tail and licks not dust. 



IV 

The sole sweet land found fit to wed the sea, 
With reptile rebels at her heel of old, 
Set hard her heel upon them, and controlled 
The cowering poisonous peril. How should she 
Cower, and resign her trust of empire? Free 
As winds and waters live the loyal-souled 
And true-born sons that love her ; nay, the bold 
Base knaves who curse her name have leave to be 
The loud-tongued liars they are. For she, beyond 
All woful years that bid men's hearts despond, 

Sees yet the likeness of her ancient fame 
Burn from the heavenward heights of history, hears 
Not Leicester's name but Sidney's faith's, not 

fear's 
Not Gladstone's now but only Gordon's name. 



RUSSIA: AN ODE 
1890 



OUT of hell a word comes hissing, dark as doom, 
Fierce as fire, and foul as plague-polluted gloom; 
Out of hell wherein the sinless damned endure 
More than ever sin conceived of pains impure; 
More than ever ground men's living souls to dust; 
Worse than madness ever dreamed of murderous 

lust. 
Since the world's wail first went up from lands and 

seas 
Ears have heard not, tongues have told not things 

like these. 

Dante, led by love's and hate's accordant spell 
Down the deepest and the loathliest ways of hell, 
Where beyond the brook of blood the rain was fire, 
Where the scalps were masked with dung more deep 

than mire, 

Saw not, where the filth was foulest, and the night 
Darkest, depths whose fiends could match the 

Muscovite. 

Set beside this truth, his deadliest vision seems 
Pale and pure and painless as a virgin's dreams. 

383 



RUSSIA: AN ODE 

Maidens dead beneath the clasping lash, and wives 
Rent with deadlier pangs than death for shame 

survives, 
Naked, mad, starved, scourged, spurned, frozen, 

fallen, deflowered, 

Souls and bodies as by fangs of beasts devoured, 
Sounds that hell would hear not, sights no thought 

could shape, 

Limbs that fell as flame the ravenous grasp of rape, 
Filth of raging crime and shame that crime enjoys, 
Age made one with youth in torture, girls with boys, 
These, and worse if aught be worse than these things 

are, 
Prove thee regent, Russia praise thy mercy, Czar. 



ii 

Sons of man, men born of women, may we dare 
Say they sin who dare be slain and dare not spare ? 
They who take their lives in hand and smile on 

death, 

Holding life as less than sleep's most fitful breath, 
So their life perchance or death may serve and 

speed 

Faith and hope, that die if dream become not deed ? 
Nought is death and nought is life and nought is 

fate 
Save for souls that love has clothed with fire of 

hate. 
These behold them, weigh them, prove them, find 

them nought, 

Save by light of hope and fire of burning thought. 

384 



RUSSIA: AN ODE 

What though sun be less than storm where these 

aspire, 
Dawn than lightning, song than thunder, light than 

fire? 

Help is none in heaven: hope sees no gentler star: 
Earth is hell, and hell bows down before the Czar. 
All its monstrous, murderous, lecherous births ac- 
claim 

Him whose empire lives to match its fiery fame. 
Nay, perchance at sight or sense of deeds here 

done, 

Here where men may lift up eyes to greet the sun, 
Hell recoils heart-stricken : horror worse than hell 
Darkens earth and sickens heaven; life knows the 

spell, 
Shudders, quails, and sinks or, filled with fierier 

breath, 

Rises red in arms devised of darkling death. 
Pity mad with passion, anguish mad with shame, 
Call aloud on justice by her darker name; 
Love grows hate for love's sake; life takes death for 

guide. 
Night hath none but one red star Tyrannicide. 



in 

"God or man, be swift; hope sickens with delay: 
Smite, and send him howling down his father's 

way! 

Fall, fire of heaven, and smite as fire from hell 
Halls wherein men's torturers, crowned and cower- 
ing, dwell! 
vi.- 25 385 



RUSSIA: AN ODE 

These that crouch and shrink and shudder, girt with 

power 
These that reign, and dare not trust one trembling 

hour 

These omnipotent, whom terror curbs and drives 
These whose life reflects in fear their victims' lives 
These whose breath sheds poison worse than plague's 

thick breath 

These whose reign is ruin, these whose word is death, 
These whose will turns heaven to hell, and day to 

night, 
These, if God's hand smite not, how shall man's not 

smite?" 

So from hearts by horror withered as by fire 
Surge the strains of unappeasable desire; 
Sounds that bid the darkness lighten, lit for death; 
Bid the lips whose breath was doom yield up their 

breath; 

Down the way of Czars, awhile in vain deferred, 
Bid the Second Alexander light the Third. 
How for shame shall men rebuke them? how may 

we 
Blame, whose fathers died, and slew, to leave us 

free? 

We, though all the world cry out upon them, know, 
Were our strife as theirs, we could not strike but so; 
Could not cower, and could not kiss the hands that 

smite ; 

Could not meet them armed in sunlit battle's light. 
Dark as fear and red as hate though morning rise, 
Life it is that conquers; death it is that dies. 



FOR GREECE AND CRETE 



STORM and shame and fraud and darkness fill the 

nations full with night : 
Hope and fear whose eyes yearn eastward have but 

fire and sword in sight: 
One alone, whose name is one with glory, sees and 

seeks the light. 

Hellas, mother of the spirit, sole supreme in war 

and peace, 
Land of light, whose word remembered bids all fear 

and sorrow cease, 
Lives again, while freedom lightens eastward yet 

for sons of Greece. 

Greece, where only men whose manhood was as 
godhead ever trod, 

Bears the blind world witness yet of light where- 
with her feet are shod: 

Freedom, armed of Greece, was always very man 
and very God. 

38? 



FOR GREECE AND CRETE 

Now the winds of old that filled her sails with tri- 
umph, when the fleet 

Bound for death from Asia fled before them stricken, 
wake to greet 

Ships full -winged again for freedom toward the 
sacred shores of Crete. 

There was God born man, the song that spake of 

old time said: and there 
Man, made even as God by trust that shows him 

nought too dire to dare, 
Now may light again the beacon lit when those we 

worship were. 

Sharp the concert wrought of discord shrills the 

tune of shame and death, 
Turk by Christian fenced and fostered, Mecca backed 

by Nazareth: 
All the powerless powers, tongue- valiant, breathe 

but greed's or terror's breath. 

Though the tide that feels the west wind lift it wave 

by widening wave 
Wax not yet to height and fullness of the storm that 

smites to save, 
None shall bid the flood back seaward till no bar be 

left to brave. 



DELPHIC HYMN TO APOLLO 

(B.C. 280) 

DONE INTO ENGLISH 



THEE, the son of God most high, 

Famed for harping song, will I 
Proclaim, and the deathless oracular word 
From the snow-topped rock that we gaze on heard, 

Counsels of thy glorious giving 

Manifest for all men living, 
How thou madest the tripod of prophecy thine 
Which the wrath of the dragon kept guard on, a 
shrine 

Voiceless till thy shafts could smite 

All his live coiled glittering might. 



ii 

Ye that hold of right alone 

All deep woods on Helicon, 

Fair daughters of thunder-girt God, with your bright 
White arms uplift as to lighten the light, 

Come to chant your brother's praise, 

Gold-haired Phcebus, loud in lays, 
389 



DELPHIC HYMN TO APOLLO 

Even his, who afar up the twin-topped seat 
Of the rock Parnassian whereon we meet 
Risen with glorious Delphic maids 
Seeks the soft spring-sweetened shades 
Castalian, fain of the Delphian peak 
Prophetic, sublime as the feet that seek. 
Glorious Athens, highest of state, 
Come, with praise and prayer elate, 
O thou that art queen of the plain unscarred 
That the warrior Tritonid hath alway in guard, 
Where on many a sacred shrine 
Young bulls' thigh-bones burn and shine 
As the god that is fire overtakes them, and fast 
The smoke of Arabia to heavenward is cast, 
Scattering wide its balm: and shrill 
Now with nimble notes thaj thrill 
The flute strikes up for the song, and the harp of 

gold 

vStrikes up to the song sweet answer: and all behold, 
All, aswarm as bees, give ear, 
Who by birth hold Athens dear. 



A NEW CENTURY 



AN age too great for thought of ours to scan, 
A wave upon the sleepless sea of time 
That sinks and sleeps for ever, ere the chime 

Pass that salutes with blessing, not with ban, 

The dark year dead, the bright year born for man, 
Dies: all its days that watched man cower and 

climb, 
Frail as the foam, and as the sun sublime, 

Sleep sound as they that slept ere these began. 

Our mother earth, whose ages none may tell, 
Puts on no change: time bids not her wax pale 

Or kindle, quenched or quickened, when the knell 
Sounds, and we cry across the veering gale 

Farewell and midnight answers us, Farewell; 
Hail and the heaven of morning answers, Hail. 



AN EVENING AT VICHY 

SEPTEMBER 1896 

WRITTEN ON THE NEWS OF THE DEATH OF LORD 
LEIGHTON 



A LIGHT has passed that never shall pass away, 
A sun has set whose rays are unquelled of night. 

The loyal grace, the courtesy bright as day, 
The strong sweet radiant spirit of life and light 
That shone and smiled and lightened on all men's 
sight, 

The kindly life whose tune was the tune of May, 
For us now dark, for love and for fame is bright. 

Nay, not for us that live as the fen-fires live, 

As stars that shoot and shudder with life and die, 
Can death make dark that lustre of life, or give 
The grievous gift of trust in oblivion's lie. 
Days dear and far death touches, and draws 

them nigh, 

And bids the grief that broods on their graves forgive 
The day that seems to mock them as clouds that 
fly. 

39 2 



AN EVENING AT VICHY 

If life be life more faithful than shines on sleep 
When dreams take wing and lighten and fade like 

flame, 

Then haply death may be not a death so deep 
That all things past are past for it wholly fame, 
Love, loving - kindness, seasons that went and 

came, 
And left their light on life as a seal to keep 

Winged memory fast and heedful of time's dead 
claim. 

Death gives back life and light to the sunless years 

Whose suns long sunken set not for ever. Time, 

Blind, fierce, and deaf as tempest, relents, and hears 

And sees how bright the days and how sweet their 

chime 
Rang, shone, and passed in music that matched 

the clime 

Wherein we met rejoicing a joy that cheers 
Sorrow, to see the night as the dawn sublime 

The days that were outlighten the days that are, 
And eyes now darkened shine as the stars we see 

And hear not sing, impassionate star to star, 
As once we heard the music that haply he 
Hears, high in heaven if ever a voice may be 

The same in heaven, the same as on earth, afar 
From pain and earth as heaven from the heaving 
sea. 

A woman's voice, divine as a bird's by dawn 
Kindled 'and stirred to sunward, arose and held 
393 



AN EVENING AT VICHY 

Our souls that heard, from earth as from sleep with- 
drawn, 

And filled with light as stars, and as stars com- 
pelled 

To move by might of music, elate while quelled, 
Subdued by rapture, lit as a mountain lawn 

By morning whence all heaven in the sunrise 
welled. 

And her the shadow of death as a robe clasped 

round 

Then: and as morning's music she passed away. 

And he then with us, warrior and wanderer, crowned 

With fame that shone from eastern on western 

day, 
More strong, more kind, than praise or than grief 

might say, 

Has passed now forth of shadow by sunlight bound, 
Of night shot through with light that is frail as 
May. 



May dies, and light grows darkness, and life grows 

death: 
Hope fades and shrinks and falls as a changing 

leaf: 
Remembrance, touched and kindled by love's live 

breath, 
Shines, and subdues the shadow of time called 

grief, 

The shade whose length of life is as life's date 
brief, 

'394 



AN EVENING AT VICHY 

With joy that broods on the sunlight past, and saith 
That thought and love hold sorrow and change 
in fief. 

Sweet, glad, bright spirit, kind as the sun seems 

kind 

When earth and sea rejoice in his gentler spell, 
Thy face that was we see not: bereft and blind, 
We see but yet, rejoicing to see, and dwell 
Awhile in days that heard not the death-day's 

knell, 

A light so bright that scarcely may sorrow find 
One old sweet word that hails thee and mourns 
Farewell. 



TO GEORGE FREDERICK WATTS 

ON THE EIGHTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF HIS BIRTH, 
FEBRUARY 23, 1897 



HIGH thought and hallowed love, by faith made one, 

Begat and bare the sweet strong-hearted child, 
Art, nursed of Nature; earth and sea and sun 

Saw Nature then more godlike as she smiled. 
Life smiled on death, and death on life: the Soul 

Between them shone, and soared above their strife, 
And left on Time's unclosed and starry scroll 

A sign that quickened death to deathless life. 
Peace rose like Hope, a patient queen, and bade 

Hell's firstborn, Faith, abjure her creed and die; 
And Love, by life and death made sad and glad, 

Gave Conscience ease, and watched Good Will 

pass by. 

All these make music now of one man's name, 
Whose life and age are one with love and fame. 



ON THE DEATH OF MRS. LYNN LINTON 



KIND, wise, and true as truth's own heart, 

A soul that here 
Chose and held fast the better part 

And cast out fear, 

Has left us ere we dreamed of death 

For life so strong, 
Clear as the sundawn's light and breath, 

And sweet as song. 

We see no more what here awhile 

Shed light on men: 
Has Landor seen that brave bright smile 

Alive again ? 

If death and life and love be one 

And hope no lie 
And night no stronger than the sun, 

These cannot die. 

The father-spirit whence her soul 

Took strength, and gave 
Back love, is perfect yet and whole, 

As hope might crave. 
397 



ON THE DEATH OF MRS. LYNN LINTON 

His word is living light and fire: 

And hers shall live 
By grace of all good gifts the sire 

Gave power to give. 



The sire and daughter, twain and one 

In quest and goal, 
Stand face to face beyond the sun, 

And soul to soul. 



Not we, who loved them well, may dream 

What joy sublime 
Is theirs, if dawn through darkness gleam, 

And life through time. 

Time seems but here the mask of death, 

That falls and shows 
A void where hope may draw not breath: 

Night only knows. 



Love knows not: all that love may keep 

Glad memory gives: 
The spirit of the days that sleep 

Still wakes and lives. 

But not the spirit's self, though song 

Would lend it speech, 
May touch the goal that hope might long 

In vain to reach. 
398 



ON THE DEATH OF MRS. LYNN LINTON 

How dear that high true heart, how sweet 

Those keen kind eyes, 
Love knows, who knows how fiery fleet 

Is life that flies. 



If life there be that flies not, fair 

The life must be 
That thrills her sovereign spirit there 

And sets it free. 



IN MEMORY OF AURELIO SAFFI 



BELOVED above all nations, land adored, 
Sovereign in spirit and charm, by song and sword, 
Sovereign whose life is love, whose name is light, 
Italia, queen that hast the sun for lord, 

Bride that hast heaven for bridegroom, how should 

night 
Veil or withhold from faith's and memory's sight 

A man beloved and crowned of thee and fame, 
Hide for an hour his name's memorial might ? 

Thy sons may never speak or hear the name 
Saffi, and feel not love's regenerate flame 

Thrill all the quickening heart with faith and 

pride 
In one whose life makes death and life the same. 

They die indeed whose souls before them died: 
Not he, for whom death flung life's portal wide, 

Who stands where Dante's soul in vision came, 
In Dante's presence, by Mazzini's side. 

March 26, 1896. 



CARNOT 



DEATH, winged with fire of hate from deathless hell 
Wherein the souls of anarchs hiss and die, 
With stroke as dire has cloven a heart as high 

As twice beyond the wide sea's westward swell 

The living lust of death had power to quell 

Through ministry of murderous hands whereby 
Dark fate bade Lincoln's head and Garfield's lie 

Low even as his who bids his France farewell. 

France, now no heart that would not weep with thee 
Loved ever faith or freedom. From thy hand 
The staff of state is broken: hope, unmanned 

With anguish, doubts if freedom's self be free. 
The snake-souled anarch's fang strikes all the land 

Cold, and all hearts unsundered by the sea. 

June 25, 1894. 
vi. 26 



AFTER THE VERDICT 



FRANCE, cloven in twain by fire of hell and hate, 
Shamed with the shame of men her meanest born, 
Soldier and judge whose names, inscribed for 

scorn, 

Stand vilest on the record writ of fate, 
Lies yet not wholly vile who stood so great, 
Sees yet not all her praise of old outworn. 
Not yet is all her scroll of glory torn, 
Or left for utter shame to desecrate. 
High souls and constant hearts of faithful men 
Sustain her perfect praise with tongue and pen 
Indomitable as honour. Storms may toss 

And soil her standard ere her bark win home: 
But shame falls full upon the Christless cross 
Whose brandmark signs the holy hounds of Rome. 

September 1899. 



THE TRANSVAAL 



PATIENCE, long sick to death, is dead. Too long 

Have sloth and doubt and treason bidden us be 

What Cromwell's England was not, when the sea 

To him bore witness given of Blake how strong 

She stood, a commonweal that brooked no wrong 

From foes less vile than men like wolves set free 

Whose war is waged where none may fight or 

flee 

With women and with weanlings. Speech and song 

Lack utterance now for loathing. Scarce we hear 

Foul tongues' that blacken God's dishonoured 

name 
With prayers turned curses and with praise found 

shame 

Defy the truth whose witness now draws near 
To scourge these dogs, agape with jaws afoam, 
Down out of life. Strike, England, and strike 
home. 

October 9, 1899. 



REVERSE 



THE wave that breaks against a forward stroke 

Beats not the swimmer back, but thrills him 
through 

With joyous trust to win his way anew 
Through stronger seas than first upon him broke 
And triumphed. England's iron -tempered oak 

Shrank not when Europe's might against her 
grew 

Full, and her sun drank up her foes like dew, 
And lion-like from sleep her strength awoke. 

As bold in fight as bold in breach of trust 
We find our foes, and wonder not to find, 
Nor grudge them praise whom honour may not 

bind: 

But loathing more intense than speaks disgust 
Heaves England's heart, when scorn is bound to 

greet 

Hunters and hounds whose tongues would lick their 
feet. 

November i, 1899. 



THE TURNING OF THE TIDE 



STORM, strong with all the bitter heart of hate, 
Smote England, now nineteen dark years ago, 
As when the tide's full wrath in seaward flow 

Smites and bears back the swimmer. Fraud and 
fate 

Were leagued against her: fear was fain to prate 
Of honour in dishonour, pride brought low, 
And humbleness whence holiness must grow, 

And greatness born of shame to be so great. 

The winter day that withered hope and pride 
Shines now triumphal on the turning tide 

That sets once more our trust in freedom free, 
That leaves a ruthless and a truthless foe 
And all base hopes that hailed his cause laid low, 

And England's name a light on land and sea. 

February 2 7, 1900. 



ON THE DEATH OF COLONEL BENSON 



NORTHUMBERLAND, so proud and sad to-day, 
Weep and rejoice, our mother, whom no son 
More glorious than this dead and deathless one 

Brought ever fame whereon no time shall prey. 

Nor heed we more than he what liars dare say 
Of mercy's holiest duties left undone 
Toward whelps and dams of murderous foes, 
whom none 

Save we had spared or feared to starve and slay. 

Alone as Milton and as Wordsworth found 
And hailed their England, when from all around 
Howled all the recreant hate of envious knaves, 
Sublime she stands: while, stifled in the sound, 
Each lie that falls from German boors and slaves 
Falls but as filth dropt in the wandering waves. 

November 4, 1901. 



ASTR^A VICTRIX 



ENGLAND, elect of time, 
By freedom sealed sublime, 
And constant as the sun that saw thy dawn 
Outshine upon the sea 
His own in heaven, to be 
A light that night nor day should see withdrawn, 

If song may speak not now thy praise, 
Fame writes it higher than song may soar or faith 
may gaze. 

Dark months on months beheld 
Hope thwarted, crossed, and quelled, 
And heard the heartless hounds of hatred bay 
Aloud against thee, glad 
As now their souls are sad 
Who see their hope in hatred pass away 

And wither into shame and fear 
And shudder down to darkness, loth to see or hear. 

Nought now they hear or see 
That speaks or shows not thee 
Triumphant ; not as empires reared of yore, 
The imperial commonweal 
That bears thy sovereign seal 
407 



ASTR^A VICTRIX 

And signs thine orient as thy natural shore 

Free, as no sons but thine may stand, 
Steers lifeward ever, guided of thy pilot hand. 

Fear, masked and veiled by fraud, 
Found shameful time to applaud 
Shame, and bow down thy banner towards the 

dust, 

And call on godly shame 
To desecrate thy name 
And bid false penitence abjure thy trust: 

Till England's heart took thought at last, 
And felt her future kindle from her fiery past. 

Then sprang the sunbright fire 
High as the sun, and higher 
Than strange men's eyes might watch it un- 
dismayed : 

But winds athwart it blew 
Storm, and the twilight grew 
Darkness awhile, an unenduring shade: 

And all base birds and beasts of night 
Saw no more England now to fear, no loathsome 
light. 

All knaves and slaves at heart 
Who, knowing thee what thou art, 
Abhor thee, seeing what none save here may 

see, 

Strong freedom, taintless truth, 
Supreme in ageless youth, 
Howled all their hate and hope aloud at thee 
408 



ASTR^A VICTRIX 

While yet the wavering wind of strife 
Bore hard against her sail whose freight is hope and 
life. 

And now the quickening tide 
That brings back power and pride 
To faith and love whose ensign is thy name 
Bears down the recreant lie 
That doomed thy name to die, 
Sons, friends, and foes behold thy star the same 

As when it stood in heaven a sun 
And Europe saw no glory left her sky save one. 

And now, as then she saw, 
She sees with shamefast awe 
How all unlike all slaves and tyrants born 
Where bondmen champ the bit 
And anarchs foam and flit, 
And day mocks day, and year puts year to 

scorn, 

Our mother bore us, English men, 
Ashamed of shame and strong in mercy, now as then. 

We loosed not on these knaves 
Their scourge-tormented slaves: 
We held the hand that fain had risen to smite 
The torturer fast, and made 
Justice awhile afraid, 

And righteousness forgo her ruthless right : 
We warred not even with these as they; 
We bade not them they preyed on make of them 
their prey. 

409 



ASTR^A VICTRIX 

All murderous fraud that lurks 
In hearts where hell's craft works 
Fought, crawled, and slew in darkness: they 

that died 

Dreamed not of foes too base 
For scorn to grant them grace: 
Men wounded, women, children at their side, 

Had found what faith in fiends may live: 
And yet we gave not back what righteous doom 
would give. 

No false white flag that fawns 
On faith till murder dawns 
Blood-red from hell-black treason's heart of hate 
Left ever shame's foul brand 
Seared on an English hand: 
And yet our pride vouchsafes them grace too 

great 

For other pride to dream of: scorn 
Strikes retribution silent as the stars at morn. 

And now the living breath 
Whose life puts death to death, 
Freedom, whose name is England, stirs and 

thrills 

The burning darkness through 
Whence fraud and slavery grew, 
We scarce may mourn our dead whose fame 

fulfils 

The record where her foes have read 
That earth shall see none like her born ere earth be 
dead. 

410 



THE FIRST OF JUNE 



PEACE and war are one in proof of England's death- 
less praise. 
One divine day saw her foemen scattered on the 

sea 
Far and fast as storm could speed: the same strong 

day of days 
Sees the imperial commonweal set friends and 

foemen free. 
Save where freedom reigns, whose name is England, 

fraud and fear 
Grind and blind the face of men who look on her 

and lie: 
Now may truth and pride in truth, whose seat of old 

was here, 
See them shamed and stricken blind and dumb 

as worms that die. 
Even before our hallowed hawthorn-blossom pass 

and cease, 
Even as England shines and smiles at last upon 

the sun, 
Comes the word that means for England more than 

passing peace, 

Peace with honour, peace with pride in righteous 
work well done. 

411 



THE FIRST OF JUNE 

Crowned with flowers the first of all the world and 

all the year, 
Peace, whose name is one with honour born of war, 

is here. 



ROUNDEL 

FROM THE FRENCH OF VILI/ON 



DEATH, I would plead against thy wrong, 
Who hast reft me of my love, my wife, 
And art not satiate yet with strife, 

But needs wilt hold me lingering long. 

No strength since then has kept me strong 
But what could hurt thee in her life, 
Death ? 

Twain we were, and our hearts one song, 
One heart: if that be dead, thy knife 
Hath cut me off alive from life, 

Dead as the carver's figured throng, 
Death! 



A ROUNDEL OF RABELAIS 



THELEME is afar on the waters, adrift and afar, 
Afar and afloat on the waters that flicker and gleam, 
And we feel but her fragrance and see but the shad- 
ows that mar 
Theleme. 

In the sun-coloured mists of the sunrise and sunset 

that steam 

As incense from urns of the twilight, her portals ajar 
Let pass as a shadow the light of the sound of a 

dream. 

But the laughter that rings from her cloisters that 

know not a bar 
So kindles delight in desire that the souls in us 

deem 
He erred not, the seer who discerned on the seas as 

a star 
Theleme. 



LUCIFER 

Ecrasez I'infdme. VOLTAIRE 
Les pretres ont raison de I'appeler Lucifer. VICTOR HUGO 

VOLTAIRE, our England's lover, man divine 
Beyond all Gods that ever fear adored 
By right and might, by sceptre and by sword, 
By godlike love of sunlike truth, made thine 
Through godlike hate of falsehood's marshlight shine 
And all the fume of creeds and deeds abhorred 
Whose light was darkness, till the dawn -star 

soared, 

Truth, reason, mercy, justice, keep thy shrine 
Sacred in memory's temple, seeing that none 
Of all souls born to strive before the sun 

Loved ever good or hated evil more. 
The snake that felt thy heel upon her head, 
Night's first-born, writhes as though she were not 

dead, 
But strikes not, stings not, slays not as before. 



THE CENTENARY OF ALEXANDRE 
DUMAS 



SOUND of trumpets blowing down the merriest winds 

of morn, 
Flash of hurtless lightnings, laugh of thunders 

loud and glad, 
Here should hail the summer day whereon a light 

was born 
Whence the sun grew brighter, seeing the world 

less dark and sad. 

Man of men by right divine of boyhood everlasting, 
France incarnate, France immortal in her death- 
less boy, 
Brighter birthday never shone than thine on earth, 

forecasting 
More of strenuous mirth in manhood, more of 

manful joy. 
Child of warriors, friend of warriors, Garibaldi's 

friend, 
Even thy name is as the splendour of a sunbright 

sword : 
While the boy's heart beats in man, thy fame shall 

find not end: 

Time and dark oblivion bow before thee as their 
lord. 

416 



CENTENARY OF ALEXANDRE DUMAS 

Youth acclaims thee gladdest of the gods that gild 

his days: 
Age gives thanks for thee, and death lacks heart to 

quench thy praise. 

VI. 27 



AT A DOG'S GRAVE 



GOOD NIGHT, we say, when comes the time to win 
The daily death divine that shuts up sight, 
Sleep, that assures for all who dwell therein 
Good night. 

The shadow shed round those we love shines bright 
As love's own face, when death, sleep's gentler twin, 
From them divides us even as night from light. 

Shall friends born lower in life, though pure of sin, 
Though clothed with love and faith to usward plight, 
Perish and pass unbidden of us, their kin, 
Good night? 



ii 

To die a dog's death once was held for shame. 
Not all men so beloved and mourned shall lie 
As many of these, whose time untimely came 
To die. 

His years were full: his years were joyous: why 
Must love be sorrow, when his gracious name 
Recalls his lovely life of limb and eye? 

418 



AT A DOG'S GRAVE 

If aught of blameless life on earth may claim 
Life higher than death, though death's dark wave 

rise high, 

Such life as this among us never came 
To die. 



in 

White violets, there by hands more sweet than they 
Planted, shall sweeten April's flowerful air 
About a grave that shows to night and day 
White violets there. 

A child's light hands, whose touch makes flowers 

more fair, 

Keep fair as these for many a March and May 
The light of days that are because they were. 

It shall not like a blossom pass away; 
It broods and brightens with the days that bear 
Fresh fruits of love, but leave, as love might pray, 
White violets there. 



THREE WEEKS OLD 



THREE weeks since there was no such rose in being; 

Now may eyes made dim with deep delight 
See how fair it is, laugh with love, and seeing 

Praise the chance that bids us bless the sight. 

Three weeks old, and a very rose of roses, 
Bright and sweet as love is sweet and bright. 

Heaven and earth, till a man's life wanes and closes, 
Show not life or love a lovelier sight. 

Three weeks past have renewed the rosebright 
creature 

Day by day with life, and night by night. 
Love, though fain of its every faultless feature, 

Finds not words to match the silent sight. 



A CLASP OF HANDS 



SOFT, small, and sweet as sunniest flowers 

That bask in heavenly heat 
When bud by bud breaks, breathes, and cowers, 

Soft, small, and sweet, 

A babe's hands open as to greet 

The tender touch of ours 
And mock with motion faint and fleet 

The minutes of the new strange hours 
That earth, not heaven, must mete; 

Buds fragrant still from heaven's own bowers, 
Soft, small, and sweet. 



ii 

A velvet vice with springs of steel 

That fasten in a trice 
And clench the fingers fast that feel 

A velvet vice 

What man would risk the danger twice, 

Nor quake from head to heel? 
Whom would not one such test suffice? 
421 



A CLASP OF HANDS 

Well may we tremble as we kneel 

In sight of Paradise, 
If both a babe's closed fists conceal 

A velvet vice. 



in 

Two flower-soft fists of conquering clutch, 
Two creased and dimpled wrists, 

That match, if mottled overmuch, 
Two flower-soft fists 

What heart of man dare hold the lists 

Against such odds and such 
Sweet vantage as no strength resists? 

Our strength is all a broken crutch, 
Our eyes are dim with mists, 

Our hearts are prisoners as we touch 
Two flower-soft fists. 



PROLOGUE TO DOCTOR FAUSTUS 



LIGHT, as when dawn takes wing and smites the sea, 
Smote England when his day bade Marlowe be. 
No fire so keen had thrilled the clouds of time 
Since Dante's breath made Italy sublime. 
Earth, bright with flowers whose dew shone soft 

as tears, 

Through Chaucer cast her charm on eyes and ears: 
The lustrous laughter of the love-lit earth 
Rang, leapt, and lightened in his might of mirth. 
Deep moonlight, hallowing all the breathless air, 
Made earth and heaven for Spenser faint and fair. 
But song might bid not heaven and earth be one 
Till Marlowe's voice gave warning of the sun. 
Thought quailed and fluttered as a wounded bird 
Till passion fledged the wing of Marlowe's word. 
Faith born of fear bade hope and doubt be dumb 
Till Marlowe's pride bade light or darkness come. 
Then first our speech was thunder: then our song 
Shot lightning through the clouds that wrought us 

wrong. 

Blind fear, whose faith feeds hell with fire, became 
A moth self -shrivelled in its own blind flame. 
We heard, in tune with even our seas that roll, 
The speech of storm, the thunders of the soul. 

423 






PROLOGUE TO DOCTOR FAUSTUS 

Men's passions, clothed with all the woes they 

wrought, 
Shone through the fire of man's transfiguring 

thought. 

The thirst of knowledge, quenchless at her springs, 
Ambition, fire that clasps the thrones of kings, 
Love, light that makes of life one lustrous hour, 
And song, the soul's chief crown and throne of 

power, 

The hungering heart of greed and ravenous hate, 
Made music high as heaven and deep as fate. 
Strange pity, scarce half scornful of her tear, 
In Berkeley's vaults bowed down on Edward's bier. 
But higher in forceful flight of song than all 
The soul of man, its own imperious thrall, 
Rose, when his royal spirit of fierce desire 
Made life and death for man one flame of fire. 
Incarnate man, fast bound as earth and sea, 
Spake, when his pride would fain set Faustus free. 
Eternal beauty, strong as day and night, 
Shone, when his word bade Helen back to sight. 
Fear, when he bowed the soul before her spell, 
Thundered and lightened through the vaults of hell. 
The music known of all men's tongues that sing, 
When Marlowe sang, bade love make heaven of 

spring; 

The music none but English tongues may make, 
Our own sole song, spake first when Marlowe spake ; 
And on his grave, though there no stone may stand, 
The flower it shows was laid by Shakespeare's hand. 



PROLOGUE TO ARDEN OF FEVERSHAM 



LOVE dark as death and fierce as fire on wing 
Sustains in sin the soul that feels it cling 
Like flame whose tongues are serpents : hope and fear 
Die when a love more dire than hate draws near, 
And stings to death the heart it cleaves in twain, 
And leaves in ashes all but fear and pain. 
Our lustrous England rose to life and light 
From Rome's and hell's immitigable night, 
And music laughed and quickened from her breath, 
When first her sons acclaimed Elizabeth. 
Her soul became a lyre that all men heard 
Who felt their souls give back her lyric word. 
Yet now not all at once her perfect power 
Spake: man's deep heart abode awhile its hour, 
Abode its hour of utterance; not to wake 
Till Marlowe's thought in thunderous music spake. 
But yet not yet was passion's tragic breath 
Thrilled through with sense of instant life and death, 
Life actual even as theirs who watched the strife, 
Death dark and keen and terrible as life. 
Here first was truth in song made perfect: here 
Woke first the war of love and hate and fear. 
A man too vile for thought's or shame's control 
Holds empire on a woman's loftier soul, 

425 



PROLOGUE TO ARDEN OF FEVERSHAM 

And withers it to wickedness: in vain 

Shame quickens thought with penitential pain: 

In vain dark chance's fitful providence 

Withholds the crime, and chills the spirit of sense: 

It wakes again in fire that burns away 

Repentance, weak as night devoured of day. 

Remorse, and ravenous thirst of sin and crime, 

Rend and consume the soul in strife sublime, 

And passion cries on pity till it hear 

And tremble as with love that casts out fear. 

Dark as the deed and doom he gave to fame 

For ever lies the sovereign singer's name. 

Sovereign and regent on the soul he lives 

While thought gives thanks for aught remembrance 

gives, 

And mystery sees the imperial shadow stand 
By Marlowe's side alone at Shakespeare's hand. 



PROLOGUE TO OLD FORTUNATUS 



THE golden bells of fairyland, that ring 
Perpetual chime for childhood's flower-sweet spring, 
Sang soft memorial music in his ear 
Whose answering music shines about us here. 
Soft laughter as of light that stirs the sea 
With darkling sense of dawn ere dawn may be, 
Kind sorrow, pity touched with gentler scorn, 
Keen wit whose shafts were sunshafts of the morn, 
Love winged with fancy, fancy thrilled with love, 
An eagle's aim and ardour in a dove, 
A man's delight and passion in a child, 
Inform it as when first they wept and smiled. 
Life, soiled and rent and ringed about with pain 
Whose touch lent action less of spur than chain, 
Left half the happiness his birth designed, 
And half the power, unquenched in heart and mind. 
Comrade and comforter, sublime in shame, 
A poor man bound in prison whence he came 
Poor, and took up the burden of his life 
Smiling, and strong to strive with sorrow and strife, 
He spake in England's ear the poor man's word, 
Manful and mournful, deathless and unheard. 
His kind great heart was fire, and love's own fire, 
Compassion, strong as flesh may feel desire, 

427 



PROLOGUE TO OLD FORTUNATUS 

To enkindle pity and mercy toward a soul 
Sunk down in shame too deep for shame's control, 
His kind keen eye was light to lighten hope 
Where no man else might see life's darkness ope 
And pity's touch bring forth from evil good, 
Sweet as forgiveness, strong as fatherhood. 
Names higher than his outshine it and outsoar, 
But none save one should memory cherish more: 
Praise and thanksgiving crown the names above, 
But him we give the gift he gave us, love. 



PROLOGUE TO THE DUCHESS OF MALPY 



WHEN Shakespeare soared from life to death, above 

All praise, all adoration, save of love, 

As here on earth above all men he stood 

That were or are or shall be great, and good, 

Past thank or thought of England or of man 

Light from the sunset quickened as it ran. 

His word, who sang as never man may sing 

And spake as never voice of man may ring, 

Not fruitless fell, as seed on sterile ways, 

But brought forth increase even to Shakespeare's 

praise. 

Our skies were thrilled and filled, from sea to sea, 
With stars outshining all their suns to be. 
No later light of tragic song they knew 
Like his whose lightning clove the sunset through. 
Half Shakespeare's glory, when his hand sublime 
Bade all the change of tragic life and time 
Live, and outlive all date of quick and dead, 
Fell, rested, and shall rest on Webster's head. 
Round him the shadows cast on earth by light 
Rose, changed, and shone, transfiguring death and 

night. 

Where evil only crawled and hissed and slew 
On ways where nought save shame and bloodshed 

grew, 

429 



PROLOGUE TO THE DUCHESS OF MALFY 

He bade the loyal light of honour live, 
And love, when stricken through the heart, forgive. 
Deep down the midnight of the soul of sin 
He lit the star of mercy throned therein. 
High up the darkness of sublime despair 
He set the sun of love to triumph there. 
Things foul or frail his touch made strong and pure, 
And bade things transient like to stars endure 
Terror, on wings whose flight made night in heaven, 
Pity, with hands whence life took love for leaven, 
Breathed round him music whence his mortal breath 
Drew life that bade forgetfulness and death 
Die: life that bids his light of fiery fame 
Endure with England's, yea, with Shakespeare's 
name. 



PROLOGUE TO THE REVENGER'S 
TRAGEDY 



FIRE, and behind the breathless flight of fire 
Thunder that quickens fear and quells desire, 
Make bright and loud the terror of the night 
Wherein the soul sees only wrath for light. 
Wrath winged by love and sheathed by grief in steel 
Sets on the front of crime death's withering seal. 
The heaving horror of the storms of sin 
Brings forth in fear the lightning hid therein, 
And flashes back to darkness: truth, found pure 
And perfect, asks not heaven if shame endure. 
What life and death were his whose raging song 
Bore heaven such witness of the wild world's wrong, 
What hand was this that grasped such thunder, none 
Knows: night and storm seclude him from the sun. 
By daytime none discerns the fire of Mars: 
Deep darkness bares to sight the sterner stars, 
The lights whose dawn seems doomsday. None 

may tell 

Whence rose a world so lit from heaven and hell. 
Life- wasting love, hate born of raging lust, 
Fierce retribution, fed with death's own dust 
And sorrow's pampering poison, cross and meet, 
And wind the world in passion's winding-sheet. 

43 1 



PROLOGUE TO REVENGER'S TRAGEDY 

So, when dark faith in faith's dark ages heard 

Falsehood, and drank the poison of the Word, 

Two shades misshapen came to monstrous birth, 

A father fiend in heaven, a thrall on earth: 

Man, meanest born of beasts that press the sod, 

And die: the vilest of his creatures, God. 

A judge unjust, a slave that praised his name, 

Made life and death one fire of sin and shame. 

And thence reverberate even on Shakespeare's age 

A light like darkness crossed his sunbright stage. 

Music, sublime as storm or sorrow, sang 

Before it: tempest like a harpstring rang. 

The fiery shadow of a name unknown 

Rose, and in song's high heaven abides alone. 



PROLOGUE TO THE BROKEN HEART 



THE mightiest choir of song that memory hears 
Gave England voice for fifty lustrous years. 
Sunrise and thunder fired and shook the skies 
That saw the sun-god Marlowe's opening eyes. 
The morn's own music, answered of the sea, 
Spake, when his living lips bade Shakespeare be, 
And England, made by Shakespeare's quickening 

breath 

Divine and deathless even till life be death, 
Brought forth to time such godlike sons of men 
That shamefaced love grows pride, and now seems 

then. 

Shame that their day so shone, so sang, so died, 
Remembering, finds remembrance one with pride. 
That day was clouding toward a stormlit close 
When Ford's red sphere upon the twilight rose. 
Sublime with stars and sunset fire, the sky- 
Glowed as though day, nigh dead, should never die. 
Sorrow supreme and strange as chance or doom 
Shone, spake, and shuddered through the lustrous 

gloom. 

Tears lit with love made all the darkening air 
Bright as though death's dim sunrise thrilled it there 
vi .-28 433 



PROLOGUE TO THE BROKEN HEART 

And life re-risen took comfort. Stern and still 
As hours and years that change and anguish fill, 
The strong secluded spirit, ere it woke, 
Dwelt dumb till power possessed it, and it spoke. 
Strange, calm, and sure as sense of beast or bird, 
Came forth from night the thought that breathed 

the word ; 

That chilled and thrilled with passion-stricken breath 
Halls where Calantha trod the dance of death. 
A strength of soul too passionately pure 
To change for aught that horror bids endure, 
To quail and wail and weep faint life away 
Ere sovereign sorrow smite, relent, and slay, 
Sustained her silent, till her bridal bloom 
Changed, smiled, and waned in rapture toward the 

tomb. 

Terror twin-born with pity kissed and thrilled 
The lips that Shakespeare's word or Webster's 

filled: 

Here both, cast out, fell silent: pity shrank, 
Rebuked, and terror, spirit -stricken, sank: 
The soul assailed arose afar above 
All reach of all but only death and love. 






PROLOGUE TO A VERY WOMAN 



SWIFT music made of passion's changeful power, 
Sweet as the change that leaves the world in flower 
When spring laughs winter down to deathward, rang 
From grave and gracious lips that smiled and sang 
When Massinger, too wise for kings to hear 
And learn of him truth, wisdom, faith, or fear, 
Gave all his gentler heart to love's light lore, 
That grief might brood and scorn breed wrath no 

more. 

Soft, bright, fierce, tender, fitful, truthful, sweet, 
A shrine where faith and change might smile and 

meet, 

A soul whose music could but shift its tune 
As when the lustrous year turns May to June 
And spring subsides in summer, so makes good 
Its perfect claim to very womanhood. 
The heart that hate of wrong made fire, the hand 
Whose touch was fire as keen as shame's own brand 
When fraud and treason, swift to smile and sting, 
Crowned and discrowned a tyrant, knave or king, 
False each and ravenous as the fitful sea, 
Grew gently glad as love that fear sets free. 
Like eddying ripples that the wind restrains, 
The bright words whisper music ere it wanes. 

435 



PROLOGUE TO A VERY WOMAN 

Ere fades the sovereign sound of song that rang 
As though the sun to match the sea's tune sang, 
When noon from dawn took life and light, and time 
Shone, seeing how Shakespeare made the world 

sublime, 
Ere sinks the wind whose breath was heaven's and 

day's, 
The sunset's witness gives the sundawn praise. 






PROLOGUE TO THE SPANISH GIPSY 



THE wind that brings us from the springtide south 
Strange music as from love's or life's own mouth 
Blew hither, when the blast of battle ceased 
That swept back southward Spanish prince and 

priest, 

A sound more sweet than April's flower-sweet rain, 
And bade bright England smile on pardoned Spain. 
The land that cast out Philip and his God 
Grew gladly subject where Cervantes trod. 
Even he whose name above all names on earth 
Crowns England queen by grace of Shakespeare's 

birth 
Might scarce have scorned to smile in God's wise 

down 
And gild with praise from heaven an earthlier 

crown. 
And he whose hand bade live down lengthening 

years 

Quixote, a name lit up with smiles and tears, 
Gave the glad watchword of the gipsies' life, 
Where fear took hope and grief took joy to wife. 
Times change, and fame is fitful as the sea: 
But sunset bids not darkness always be, 

437 



PROLOGUE TO THE SPANISH GIPSY 

And still some light from Shakespeare and the sun 
Burns back the cloud that masks not Middleton. 
With strong swift strokes of love and wrath he drew 
Shakespearean London's loud and lusty crew: 
No plainer might the likeness rise and stand 
When Hogarth took his living world in hand. 
No surer then his fire-fledged shafts could hit, 
Winged with as forceful and as faithful wit: 
No truer a tragic depth and heat of heart 
Glowed through the painter's than the poet's art. 
He lit and hung in heaven the wan fierce moon 
Whose glance kept time with witchcraft's air-struck 

tune: 

He watched the doors where loveless love let in 
The pageant hailed and crowned by death and sin: 
He bared the souls where love, twin -born with hate, 
Made wide the way for passion-fostered fate. 
All English-hearted, all his heart arose 
To scourge with scorn his England's cowering foes: 
And Rome and Spain, who bade their scorner be 
Their prisoner, left his heart as England's free. 
Now give we all we may of all his due 
To one long since thus tried and found thus true. 



PROLOGUE TO THE TWO NOBLE 
KINSMEN 



SWEET as the dewfall, splendid as the south, 
Love touched with speech Boccaccio's golden mouth, 
Joy thrilled and filled its utterance full with song, 
And sorrow smiled on doom that wrought no wrong. 
A starrier lustre of lordlier music rose 
Beyond the sundering bar of seas and snows 
When Chaucer's thought took life and light from his 
And England's crown was one with Italy's. 
Loftiest and last, by grace of Shakespeare's word, 
Arose above their quiring spheres a third, 
Arose, and flashed; and faltered: song's deep sky 
Saw Shakespeare pass in light, in music die. 
No light like his, no music, man might give 
To bid the darkened sphere, left songless, live. 
Soft though the sound of Fletcher's rose and rang 
And lit the lunar darkness as it sang, 
Below the singing stars the cloud-crossed moon 
Gave back the sunken sun's a trembling tune. 
As when at highest high tide the sovereign sea 
Pauses, and patience doubts if passion be, 
Till gradual ripples ebb, recede, recoil, 
Shine, smile, and whisper, laughing as they toil, 

439 



PROLOGUE TO TWO NOBLE KINSMEN 

Stark silence fell, at turn of fate's high tide, 
Upon his broken song when Shakespeare died, 
Till Fletcher's light sweet speech took heart to say 
What evening, should it speak for morning, may. 
And fourfold now the gradual glory shines 
That shows once more in heaven two twinborn 

signs, 

Two brethren stars whose light no cloud may fret, 
No soul whereon their story dawns forget. 



THE AFTERGLOW OF SHAKESPEARE 



LET there be light, said Time: and England heard: 
And manhood grew to godhead at the word. 
No light had shone, since earth arose from sleep, 
So far; no fire of thought had cloven so deep. 
A day beyond all days bade life acclaim 
Shakespeare: and man put on his crowning name. 
All secrets once through darkling ages kept 
Shone, sang, and smiled to think Jiow long they 

slept. 

Man rose past fear of lies whereon he trod: 
And Dante's ghost saw hell devour his God. 
Bright Marlowe, brave as winds that brave the sea 
When sundawn bids their bliss in battle be, 
Lit England first along the ways whereon 
Song brighter far than sunlight soared and shone. 
He died ere half his life had earned his right 
To lighten time with song's triumphant, light. 
Hope shrank, and felt the stroke at heart: but one 
She knew not rose, a man to match the sun. 
And England's hope and time's and man's became 
Joy, deep as music's heart and keen as flame. 
Not long, for heaven on earth may live not long, 
Light sang, and darkness died before the song. 

441 



THE AFTERGLOW OF SHAKESPEARE 

He passed, the man above all men, whose breath 
Transfigured life with speech that lightens death. 
He passed: but yet for many a lustrous year 
His light of song bade England shine and hear. 
As plague and fire and faith in falsehood spread, 
So from the man of men, divine and dead, 
Contagious godhead, seen, unknown, and heard, 
Fulfilled and quickened England ; thought and word, 
When men would fain set life to music, grew 
More sweet than years which knew not Shakespeare 

knew. 

The simplest soul that set itself to song 
Sang, and may fear not time's or change's wrong. 
The lightest eye that glanced on life could see 
Through grief and joy the God that man might be. 
All passion whence the living soul takes fire 
Till death fulfil despair and quench desire, 
All love that lightens through the cloud of chance, 
All hate that lurks in hope and smites askance, 
All holiness of sorrow, all divine 
Pity, whose tears are stars that save and shine, 
All sunbright strength of laughter like the sea's 
When spring and autumn loose their lustrous breeze, 
All sweet, all strange, all sad, all glorious things, 
Lived on his lips, and hailed him king of kings. 
All thought, all strife, all anguish, all delight, 
Spake all he bade, and speak till day be night. 
No soul that heard, no spirit that beheld, 
Knew not the God that lured them and compelled. 
On Beaumont's brow the sun arisen afar 
Shed fire which lit through heaven the younger 

star 

442 



THE AFTERGLOW OF SHAKESPEARE 

That sank before the sunset: one dark spring 
Slew first the kinglike subject, then the king. 
The glory left above their graves made strong 
The heart of Fletcher, till the flower-sweet song 
That Shakespeare culled from Chaucer's field, and 

died, 

Found ending on his lips that smiled and sighed. 
From Dekker's eyes the light of tear-touched mirth 
Shone as from Shakespeare's, mingling heaven and 

earth. 
Wild witchcraft's lure and England's love made 

one 

With Shakespeare's heart the heart of Middleton. 
Harsh, homely, true, and tragic, Rowley told 
His heart's debt down in rough and radiant gold. 
The skies that Tourneur's lightning clove and rent 
Flamed through the clouds where Shakespeare's 

thunder went. 

Wise Massinger bade kings be wise in vain 
Ere war bade song, storm -stricken, cower and 

wane. 

Kind Hey wood, simple-souled and single-eyed, 
Found voice for England's home-born praise and 

pride. 
Strange grief, strange love, strange terror, bared the 

sword 

That smote the soul by grace and will of Ford. 
The stern grim strength of Chapman's thought found 

speech 

Loud as when storm at ebb-tide rends the beach: 
And all the honey brewed from flowers in May 
Made sweet the lips and bright the dreams of Day. 

443 



THE AFTERGLOW OF SHAKESPEARE 

But even as Shakespeare caught from Marlowe's 

word 

Fire, so from his the thunder-bearing third, 
Webster, took light and might whence none but he 
Hath since made song that sounded so the sea 
Whose waves are lives of men whose tidestream 

rolls 

From year to darkening year the freight of souls. 
Alone above it, sweet, supreme, sublime, 
Shakespeare attunes the jarring chords of time; 
Alone of all whose doom is death and birth, 
Shakespeare is lord of souls alive on earth. 



DEDICATION 



THE sea that is life everlasting 

And death everlasting as life 
Abides not a pilot's forecasting, 

Foretells not of peace or of strife. 
The might of the night that was hidden 

Arises and darkens the day, 
A glory rebuked and forbidden, 

Time's crown, and his prey. 

No sweeter, no kindlier, no fairer, 

No lovelier a soul from its birth 
Wore ever a brighter and rarer 

Life's raiment for life upon earth 
Than his who enkindled and cherished 

Art's vestal and luminous flame, 
That dies not when kingdoms have perished 

In storm or in shame. 

No braver, no trustier, no purer, 

No stronger and clearer a soul 
Bore witness more splendid and surer 

For manhood found perfect and whole 
Since man was a warrior and dreamer 

Than his who in hatred of wrong 
Would fain have arisen a redeemer 

By sword or by song. 
445 



DEDICATION 

Twin brethren in spirit, immortal 

As art and as love, which were one 
For you from the birthday whose portal 

First gave you to sight of the sun, 
To-day nor to-night nor to-morrow 

May bring you again from above, 
Drawn down by the spell of the sorrow 

Whose anguish is love. 

No light rearising hereafter 

Shall lighten us here as of old 
When seasons were lustrous as laughter 

Of waves that are snowshine and gold. 
The dawn that imbues and enkindles 

Life's fluctuant and fugitive sea 
Dies down as the starshine that dwindles 

And cares not to be. 



Men, mightier than death which divides us, 

Friends, dearer than sorrow can say, 
The light that is darkness and hides us 

Awhile from each other away 
Abides but awhile and endures not, 

We know, though the day be as night, 
For souls that forgetfulness lures not 

Till sleep be in sight. 

The sleep that enfolds you, the slumber 

Supreme and eternal on earth, 
Whence ages of numberless number 

Shall bring us not back into birth, 
446 



DEDICATION 

We know not indeed if it be not 
What no man hath known if it be, 

Life, quickened with light that we see not 
If spirits may see. 

The love that would see and would know it 

Is even as the love of a child. 
But the fire of the fame of the poet 

Who gazed on the past, and it smiled, 
But the light of the fame of the painter 

Whose hand was as morning's in May, 
Death bids not be darker or fainter, 

Time casts not away. 

We, left of them loveless and lonely, 

Who lived in the light of their love, 
Whose darkness desires it, we only, 

Who see them afar and above, 
So far, if we die not, above us, 

So lately no dearer than near, 
May know not of death if they love us, 

Of night if they hear. 

We, stricken and darkling and living, 

Who loved them and love them, abide 
A day, and the gift of its giving, 

An hour, and the turn of its tide, 
When twilight and midnight and morrow 

Shall pass from the sight of the sun, 
And death be forgotten, and sorrow 

Discrowned and undone. 
447 



DEDICATION 

For us as for these will the breathless 

Brief minute arise and pass by: 
And if death be not utterly deathless, 

If love do not utterly die, 
From the life that is quenched as an ember 

The soul that aspires as a flame 
Can choose not but wholly remember 

Love, lovelier than fame. 

Though sure be the seal of their glory 

And fairer no fame upon earth, 
Though never a leaf shall grow hoary 

Of the crowns that were given them at birth, 
While time as a vassal doth duty 

To names that he towers not above, 
More perfect in price and in beauty 

For ever is love. 

The night is upon us, and anguish 

Of longing that yearns for the dead. 
But mourners that faint not or languish, 

That veil not and bow not the head, 
Take comfort to heart if a token 

Be given them of comfort to be: 
While darkness on earth is unbroken, 

Light lives on the sea. 



END OF VOL. VI. 



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